Nigeria’s House of Representatives, is working on a Bill that would curtail the influx of Nigerian-trained medical and dental practitioners to foreign countries.
The Bill has passed second reading at the lower House.
The Bill, sponsored by a member representing Oshodi Isolo II Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, was read on the floor of the House on Thursday.
It was titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap. M379, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to mandate any Nigeria-trained Medical or Dental Practitioner to Practise in Nigeria for a Minimum of Five (5) before being granted a full licence by the Council in order to make Quality health Services available to Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB.2130).”
The Bill was proposed as part of effort to cut down on the increasing number of doctors leaving Nigeria in search of better opportunities abroad.
Johnson argued that it was fair for medical practitioners who had benefited from taxpayer subsidies to undergo mandatory service for a minimum number of years in Nigeria before taking their skills abroad.
Majority of lawmakers supported the bill, although some called for flexibility and options in the proposed law.
However, a member of the House, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta opposed the Bill on the grounds that it amounted to enslavement to tie a doctor down for five years in Nigeria post-graduation before seeking employment overseas.
Despite this opposition, a majority voice vote passed the Bill for a second reading.