As Nigeria’s health sector barely struggles to stay afloat, new reports have revealed that the country has lost over 4500 medical professionals to the UK in 6 years.
4,528 Nigerian medical doctors trained in the country have migrated to the United Kingdom to practise their craft as the UK continues to improve its immigration process for medical professionals from Nigeria and other countries.
At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the UK opened a visa issuance policy for Healthcare workers willing to assist its National Health Service (NHS). The visa policy aimed to make it cheaper, quicker and easier for healthcare professionals to migrate to the UK, beginning from August 2020.
According to a Senior Medical Officer at the British General Medical Council, Miranda Newey, the increasing inflow of doctors from Nigeria has made the council open a bigger clinical examination centre. The council is responsible for the licensing and registration of medical practitioners in the UK.
According to the data made available by the council, 233 Nigerian doctors passed the examination to practise in the UK in 2015. The number increased to 279 in 2016, while the figure was 475 in 2017.
In 2018, the figure rose to 852 while it further increased to 1,347 in 2019. In 2020, the figure was 833 even though the GMC closed operations during the pandemic.
The figure between January 1 and July 31, 2021, is put at 509.