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Doctors criticise FG’s ban on health workers’ leave of absence to travel abroad  

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The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) have criticised the recent directive by the Federal Government banning the issuance of leave of absence to health professionals seeking opportunities abroad. 

In response to the government’s move, NARD and JOHESU emphasized the need for addressing the underlying factors prompting health workers to migrate abroad in pursuit of better prospects, a phenomenon commonly referred to as ‘Japa’. 

Minister of State for Health, Dr. Tunji Alausa, disclosed recently that health workers intending to pursue opportunities overseas must resign before embarking on such journeys, citing an Executive Order issued by President Bola Tinubu as the basis for the ban. 

However, NARD President, Dr. Dele Abdullahi, and JOHESU National Chairman, Dr. Kabiru Minjibir, expressed concerns over what they perceive as a reactive and inadequate approach to curbing brain drain in the healthcare sector. 

Abdullahi highlighted the misalignment between the government’s directive and the practicalities of healthcare workers’ movements, emphasizing the necessity of consulting stakeholders and addressing the root causes of brain drain, including poor remuneration, inadequate facilities, and security challenges. 

Minjibir echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the urgency of addressing health workers’ grievances and providing necessary support and resources to improve working conditions domestically. 

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