FG Kicks Against Proposed Five-Year Compulsory Service For Doctors

On April 7, the bill which has scaled through the second reading in the House of Representatives.

File photo of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, briefing reporters in Abuja.


The Federal Government on Monday said it is not in support of the National Assembly bill proposing to deny Nigeria-trained medical or dental practitioners from being granted full licences until they have worked for a minimum of five years in the country.

On April 7, the bill scaled through the second reading in the House of Representatives. According to the sponsor, Honourable Ganiyu Johnson (APC/Lagos), the piece of legislation is to address the brain drain in the Nigerian health sector.

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However, briefing State House Correspondents in Abuja after the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Minister of Labour Dr Chris Ngige asserted that the bill in the National Assembly cannot stop anyone from getting a full license.

The Labour Minister who maintained that there are other ways to check brain drain in the country, described the bill as ‘not workable’.

“Nobody can say they will not get a practising licence till after five years, it will run counter to the laws of the land that has established the progression in the practice of medicine. I am a medical doctor. I don’t support that bill,” he stated.

“When you graduate from medical school you go on a one-year apprenticeship called horsemanship or internship as the case may be. After your internship, you are now given a full licence because prior to that what you have is a provisional licence of registration with the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN.

“So, after that internship, you were signed off by consultants and you became a fully qualified medical doctor to attend to human beings and to work without any supervision again. Supervision then is voluntary.

“Resident Doctors are those who have that full licence and they want to acquire post-graduate speciality and speciality is known like a surgeon, gynaecologists, obstetrics, paediatrics and internal medicine of family medicine. So, they are doctors in training.”