Number Of Nigerian Doctors In United Kingdom Rises To 7,875

Published July 25 2020

No fewer than 7,875 Nigerian doctors are currently practising in the United Kingdom, according to the UK’s General Medical Council.

The GMC, which is the government body that maintains the UK’s official register of medical practitioners, also says India, Pakistan and Nigeria are the countries with the highest number of doctors practising in the UK.

A check on the website of the UK medical council on Thursday evening showed that the number of Nigerian doctors working in the UK had risen from 7,870 to 7,875 in less than a week.

The council’s revelations generated reactions on Thursday from the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Nigerian Medical Association and the National Association of Resident Doctors who spoke with Punch newspapers.

The NMA described the ongoing migration of medical doctors as “the second peak of doctors’ mass exodus” after the mass departure of medical practitioners from the country in the 1990s.

On its part, the NLC expressed concern about the weak health sector and doctors’ exodus, saying the nation was in trouble.

But the GMD record further shows that India has 29, 228 doctors in the UK, while Pakistan comes second with a total number of 14,470. Nigeria comes third with 7,875 doctors practising in the UK.

According to statistics obtained from the UK council’s website, Nigeria is an African country with the highest number of doctors in the UK. Egypt comes second with 7,034 registered doctors in the UK, while South Africa has the third-highest African representation with 5,166.

Findings by The PUNCH indicate that Pakistan and Nigeria have the highest number of doctors in the UK in relation to the total number of doctors at home.

Currently, there are 74,543 doctors registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. With 7,875 of these doctors practising in the UK, it means 10.5 per cent of doctors registered to practise in Nigeria are in the UK alone.

India, which has over 29, 228 doctors in the UK, has over 10 million doctors at home. This means less than 0.3 per cent of Indian doctors are in the UK while for Pakistan, 11.2 per cent of its 127,859 are in the UK.

In an email chat with The PUNCH last weekend, the Media Relations Manager of the GMC, Steve Broughton, said Nigerians, who were trained in other countries but relocated to the UK, were not part of the 7,870.

Broughton said, “The data explorer pages on our website will show you the number of doctors on the UK register who gained their primary medical qualification in Nigeria. Currently, the number is 7,870.

“That may include doctors who qualified in Nigeria but who are not from Nigeria. And there may be Nigerian doctors on the register who qualified elsewhere.”

Statistics from the World Health Organisation show that Nigeria currently has a shortage of medical doctors with a physician-to-patient ratio of four doctors to 10,000 patients. In the US, the ratio is 26 doctors per 10,000 people and 28 in the UK.

A search through the website of the UK medical council reveals that the UK has 205, 814 locally trained doctors. This is apart from the over 70,000 doctors that migrate from other countries to practise in the UK.

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