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Reps Mandate 5-Yr Practice For Doctors Before Leaving Nigeria

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A bill to prevent Nigeria-trained medical or dental practitioners from being granted full licences until they have worked for a minimum of five years in the country passed second reading at the House of Representatives on Thursday.

This is aimed at addressing the increasing number of medical doctors leaving Nigeria for greener pastures, and making quality health services available to Nigeria.

Sponsored by Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, it is titled ‘the Bill for an Act to Amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act 2004’.

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Johnson said it was only fair for medical practitioners, who enjoyed taxpayer’s subsidies on their training, to “give back to the society” by working for a minimum number of years in Nigeria before exporting their skills abroad.

Many lawmakers supported the bill though a number of them called for flexibility and options in the envisaged law.

Uzoma Nkem-Abonta said tying a doctor down for five years in Nigeria before seeking employment outside is akin to enslavement.

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However, a majority voice vote passed the bill for second reading at the plenary presided by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.

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