‘Resign Your Appointment If You Are Relocating Abroad’ -FG Stops Leave Of Absence For Health Workers

The federal government is implementing measures that would require health workers seeking opportunities abroad to resign from their positions rather than apply for leave of absence before embarking on such journeys....READ FULL ARTICLE

The directive was announced on Saturday by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Tunji Alausa, following an executive order from President Bola Tinubu, which aims to curb the concerning trend of brain drain, also known as ‘Japa Syndrome,’ in the nation’s health sector.

Dr. Alausa also disclosed that the government has taken proactive measures to boost manpower production in the health sector, with annual nurse enrolment increasing from 28,000 to 68,000.

The minister, however, said that plans are underway to further raise this figure to 120,000 by year-end and emphased the need for abundant skilled personnel to seamlessly replace those departing.

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The minister during his visit to the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, addressed the challenges of manpower shortages, and highlighted the presidential directive.

He said, “The government is not unmindful of the Japa effect on our manpower in the health sector and the President has ordered for massive production of manpower such that when people go, there will always be a replacement.

“It is against this background that we are working intensely on the enrolment of our nurses. What used to be 28,000 is now 68,000 and we intend to take it to 120,000 by the end of the year, so there will always be abundant skilled manpower to take over from those leaving the job.

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“We have equally doubled our enrolment for doctors, dentists, and pharmacists among others.

“Again, we didn’t say anyone who wants to move or japa to the UK or Australia to take up appointments there should not go, it is a free world.

“However, you cannot eat your cake and have it. If you are going, just resign your appointments with the Federal Government, rather than applying for leave of absence, that is the Presidential executive order that has been communicated to all the Chief Medical Directors of Federal Government-owned health facilities to implement.

“The problem with the leave of absence is that such a fellow is out there in the UK or Australia working, making money but his name still appears on the payment roll of the government and so to replace him is difficult because he is still being considered as a staff whereas he has left the country.

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“So, to solve this problem, the President has directed that health workers going abroad to work should just resign their appointments and not apply for leave of absence.”

While acknowledging individuals’ freedom to work abroad, Alausa noted the broader impact on the health sector.

He said, “This way, you won’t be blocking others who want to work and, of course, piling burdens for your colleagues that you left behind.”...READ FULL ARTICLE

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