FG Raises Medical, Nursing Schools’ Enrolment From N28,000 To N64,000

THE Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate on Friday said the enrolment quota in medical, nursing, and other health professional schools has been increased from 28,000 to 64,000 yearly.

Prof Pate said this at the sectoral ministerial press briefing to mark the first anniversary of President Bola Tinubu in office in Abuja.

Over the years, health workers in the country have always moved to other countries to practice, but experts say the recent increase in emigration is worrisome.

Experts identified the push factors as inadequate equipment, worsening insecurity, poor working conditions, and poor salary structure.

Data from the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria showed that about 1,056 consultants left the country to seek greener pastures between 2019 and 2023.

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors also revealed over 900 of its members left for Europe between January and September 2023.

Pate, however, said, “We have doubled the intake, the enrollment, the quotas of medical schools, nursing schools, and other health professionals’ schools from an enrollment target of 28,000 a year to 64,000 now.

“That is just the first step, the education sector will have to play its role. The states will have to play in to improve the infrastructure, the training, and the tools to produce more healthcare workforce because we need to produce more healthcare workforce given that we’re losing some so that we can serve the population of this country.”

On the Primary Health Care Centres, the minister noted that at least 1,400 centres can now provide skilled birth attendants.

According to him, more than 2,400 health workers – doctors, nurses, and midwives are been recruited in facilities to provide essential health services to Nigerians in rural areas.

He also highlighted that the Federal Government has disbursed the first tranche of N25bn of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the National Health Insurance Authority.

“We put a condition that states that will access those have to comply with the fiduciary guidelines that have been provided, responding to lapses that have been observed over here so that the resources go to Nigerians.

“Twenty-three states have received those funds, and I believe that the rest of the states are just about to complete and receive their financing to channel through the PHCs.”

The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa had in October 2023 said the government had put in place strategies to increase admissions into medical and dental institutions.

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