Shettima Appeals to Doctors Against ‘Japa’ Syndrome

Nigerian doctors need to stay put in Nigeria and join hands with the Tinubu administration in the ongoing efforts to salvage the nation, Vice President Kashim Shettima has appealed.

Urging the doctors to resist the temptation of absconding without flashing a ray of hope, Shettima cautioned against the recent surge in a phenomenon colloquially referred to in the local parlance as “Japa Syndrome”.

He told them in confidence that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has their interest at heart, saying he (Tinubu) has a lot of empathy for medical doctors who have chosen to stay back at home despite juicy offers abroad.

Senator Shettima spoke on Tuesday when the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Medical Association led by its newly elected President, Prof. Bala Audu, paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa.

Urging the Nigerian doctors not to despair, the Vice President specifically implored them to “remain steadfast” and resist the temptation of offering their services in foreign lands, noting that “in President Tinubu, you have an ally who will stand by you at all times.”

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has Nigerian doctors at heart. He has a lot of empathy for our medical doctors who have opted to stay put at home, not for lack of offers,” the VP emphasized.

On the challenges facing them in the country, VP Shettima commended the giant strides of Nigerian doctors and their sacrifices in the service of the nation, especially in repositioning healthcare delivery.

He continued: “Let us stay back and salvage this nation together, this is our country and the greatest black nation on earth, and a promising nation that we need to invest in.

“The NMA is one of the most prestigious, preeminent associations in this country. We must commend you for the sacrifices you are making and for staying put in this nation.

“All hope is not lost because Nigerian doctors are making giant strides, recording milestones in the profession and, most importantly, making tremendous sacrifices to serve this nation.”

Senator Shettima further asked the NMA to encourage young doctors to specialize in key disciplines of medical practice and also check the activities of quacks in the profession.

On his part, the NMA President, Prof Audu, said the executive members were at the Presidential Villa to show solidarity for the Tinubu administration, particularly on account of its laudable policies for the health sector.

He stated: “The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has come here today as a partner to your government and a patriotic group of Nigerians dedicated to the success of the Renewed Hope Agenda of this government and to ensure that this government delivers quality healthcare to all Nigerians.”

The NMA President assured that the body “remains patriotic to this nation and will fully support the health policies of your government to drive improvement in quality healthcare delivery and universal access to services to all Nigerians.”

“This committee will work closely with this government, in delivering and implementing the policies of the administration in the healthcare sector. The NMA wants to assure and reassure you that it will play a key role in ensuring stability in the health sector and by extension, stability for this government to deliver on its promises to Nigerians as it has already started doing,” he added.

Applauding the health policies of the Tinubu administration, Prof. Audu noted that when fully implemented, the programmes and projects will “increase the training spaces for specialists in the country known as the residency training programme as well as quality of the postgraduate medical training.

“We are sure that this government will address the infrastructural needs to be able to sustain the quality of this training as well as the remuneration that will improve the wellbeing of Nigerian doctors to remain and serve in this country,” he further noted.

The NMA delegation included first Vice President, Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu; second Vice President, Dr Ushakuma Anenga; Secretary General, Dr Ben Egbo; Deputy Secretary General, Dr Wale Lasisi; National Publicity Secretary, Dr Manir Bature, and Chairman of the FCT chapter, Dr Ugwuanyi Charles, among others.

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