Japa: Council raises doctors’ pay in Lagos

The Chairman of Ikoyi-Obalende Local Council Development Area of Lagos, Fuad Atanda-Lawal, has approved a 100 per cent pay raise for the medical doctors attached to all the primary health centres in the council area.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Atanda-Lawal announced this on Thursday after extensive deliberations on the need to ensure that all residents in the council had access to comprehensive, quality and affordable health care.

He said the increment would take effect from February 2024. According to the council boss, the decision follows the need to address the brain drain currently experienced in the nation’s health sector, a trend commonly known as japa.

The chairman reiterated his belief that Nigeria was blessed with doctors who could compete with their peers globally if given the necessary incentives.

“This is coming on the heels of the commencement of the construction of a state-of-the-art primary health centre that will cater for a larger number of people in the community.

“I want to reiterate the council’s commitment to supporting the efforts of our esteemed President, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and Governor Babajide Sanwolu in delivering quality and affordable health care to all citizens.

“We believe that by investing in our health care professionals, we are taking a step towards achieving this goal,” the chairman said.

In January, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Health Service Commission, Dr Eniayewun Ademuyiwa, lamented that government-owned hospitals were becoming overstretched due to the mass emigration of health workers abroad for greener pastures, in what is commonly called ‘japa.’

He revealed that the acute shortage of manpower in some of the federal facilities had increased the number of patients being admitted to state hospitals across Lagos.

Last year, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors said no fewer than 1,417 of their members relocated abroad in search of greener pastures.

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