Some Nigerian doctors in Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States have criticized the federal government for allegedly failing to invest in the healthcare industry.
The doctors, who spoke in separate interviews with Sunday PUNCH, said the inconsistency of the government to adequately cater for the needs of medical practitioners had led to a massive brain drain in the health sector.
Some of the doctors who shared their experiences with our correspondents added that they cried and felt overwhelmed when they received their first wages, which some of them described as being 10 times higher than the wages in Nigeria.
One of the doctors, who spoke to Sunday PUNCH on condition of anonymity, said he was stunned when he received his first salary in Saudi Arabia.
He said, “To be honest, I was overwhelmed that I cried when I received my first salary in Saudi Arabia here. While I was in Nigeria, my salary was N113,450. Out of this, I had to take care of myself and my parents. It was just difficult coupled with the workload. There were times I had to attend to tons of patients.
“When the opportunity came to go to Saudi, I was a bit skeptical because some people were trying to discourage me. I just told myself that it was better to leave than to die here. Now, I work in the General Services Department in Riyadh here. I earn way more (than I did in Nigeria).
- RELATED: Nigerian government orders stoppage of striking doctors’ salaries
- RELATED: SSS officers open fire at recruitment center, chase away doctors seeking job to Saudi Arabia
“I enjoy 36-day paid leave, good working conditions and my flight ticket was paid by Saudi Arabia. It is just sad that the Nigerian Government, in every way, has always tried to frustrate the medical profession. Every time you hear of industrial actions, salaries are not paid, no allowances.”
Another Nigerian doctor based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who simply identified himself as Kingsley, said relocating abroad was the best decision he had ever made.
He stated, “Before I left Nigeria, I was working at a national hospital. I came here in 2019. I didn’t want to come initially but when I heard that Saudi was proposing $3,000 to $8,333 (salary), I just knew I had to leave.
“Here, I only attend to four to eight patients (a day). Nigerian doctors are valued here; they really love the fact that we are so smart and intelligent. I would have loved to stay back home. The Nigerian Government really needs to do better. Nigeria will continue to lose better doctors if the country does not act fast.”
Another doctor, popularly known as Waka Waka doctor on Twitter, recalled that he left Nigeria for Saudi Arabia some years ago, adding that his life had witnessed a remarkable change.
He said, “When I arrived, I was hosted in a hotel for two weeks, all paid. I never paid rent during my stay there; I never paid for electricity. My salary as a doctor in Nigeria combining two jobs was less than N120,000. In Saudi, I earned around 10 times that amount.
“Less workload; amazing state-of-the-art facilities; good hospital management systems; health insurance; paid leave and free tickets for holidays.
“You can’t discredit the loneliness and struggle with the language to start with but that passes with time. Nigerian doctors are among the brightest and best anywhere in the world; all we ask is to be treated right, given proper remuneration that matches our skills and also improve the health system in the country of our birth.”
Similarly, a general practitioner based in the United Kingdom, Dr Bob Uge (not real name), who relocated in 2020 in the wake of COVID-19, said his foreign experience as a doctor was way better than his Nigeria’s.
He said, “I was in a General Hospital in the North where I was paid N111,000, which didn’t even come as and when due. Here in the UK, I earn almost 10 times that amount – yes, 10 times that amount!
“They respect Nigerian doctors abroad; unlike in Nigeria where a CMD (Chief Medical Director) will work you to death and still complain that you are not doing anything.”
Another medical practitioner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he just moved to the United States in July, adding that he was amazed when he got his first pay.
The optometrist, who works with the Cleveland Clinic, Avon, OH, said, “I called my colleagues to report myself. I thought I was overpaid as I just resumed. I haven’t even done anything substantial.
“If any doctor decides to leave, I blame the government. If you see Nigerian doctors here, you will marvel. The situation will keep getting worse until the government decides to change.”
BBNaija season 7: Fans reacts as Biggie’s reveals the “fake housemate”
Wife of singer, Ne-Yo announces marriage crash
BBNaija Season 7: Chomzy says she will snatch Groovy from Beauty
BBNaija season 7: Level Up eviction night, strike, new and fake housemates
BBNaija season 7: Twitter users respond to the show’s first Saturday night party.
Barcelona activate €100m lever to register new players
Risks of consuming too much ginger
Bella Shmurda reveals why people engage in fraud.
Shehu Sani Slams Government Over Call To Fire Employees Over 50 years.
BBNaija season 7: Big Brother might be swapping housemates today.
Kizz Daniel arrested in Tanzania for not performing at his concert.
Ik Ogbonna says men should look beyond pretty faces and nice shape when dating.
Toyin Lawani reveals how her uncle impregnated her at a tender age.
2023 Presidency: Yoruba Elders claim Tinubu will be the next president.
2033 Presidency: Atiku Group tells Keyamo that Tinubu is a poor product.
BBNaija Season 7: Groovy comments on Beauty’s disqualification.
Join us on Facebook
Health4 days ago
Risks of consuming too much ginger
Entertainment4 days ago
BBNaija season 7: Love triangle as Groovy confesses feelings for Beauty and Ilebaye
Entertainment3 days ago
Wizkid admits he once risk his school fees on table tennis.
News4 days ago
Suspect sentenced to death for murder of Akwa Ibom job seeker
News3 days ago
Two people killed by lightning strike near White House
Politics3 days ago
Bauchi senator emerges as NNPP governorship candidate
Entertainment3 days ago
BBNaija Season 7: Beauty tells Groovy to see her parents if he wants her.
Entertainment2 days ago
Police summon Kizz Daniel for seizing laundry company vehicle