Thought Leadership

Are Egyptian doctors the saviours our health sector ?

We import almost everything in Nigeria. We import our consumables from China and Thailand, we ask Julius Berger to import our infrastructure, we ask Siemens to build our electricity infrastructure, we invite MTN from South African to build our mobile phone network, we even import most of the petrol we use…and we say with pride “WE ARE THE 8TH LARGEST OIL PRODUCER IN THE WORLD

A few years ago, doctors from Egypt were invited by several states in Northern Nigeria to provide health care in their states. Jobs were advertised in newspapers in Egypt! No details were available about how much this was costing, and why it made more sense than to employ Nigerian doctors, giving them some incentives to work in the rural areas.

Now, it is all falling apart as one of the Egyptian medical practitioners, Dr. Mohsesn AbdelHameed Mohammed El-Asran, has taken the Yobe State government, and 13 compatriots in the state before a Damaturu High Court for an alleged assault on him. These events followed his revelation through a petition, that 10 expatriate doctors were not qualified to practice as medical doctors in the state….as reported in the Independent.

Dr Mohsesn AbdelHameed added that all the 23 doctors including himself had not done any exams since they arrived in Nigeria in 2009, as required for registration as specialists and consultants.

Amazing stuff!

Medical practice in Nigeria is supposed to be regulated by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria – what is their stand?

The interests of doctors in Nigeria are supposed to be protected by the Nigerian Medical Association. – where is their voice in this?

This we suggest is the real tragedy of our country – that people who should speak up – who indeed have a responsibility to speak up – just keep quiet.

P/S Find here a series of jobs advertised in Reddington Hospital Lagos.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

By Chikwe Ihekweazu

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

2 replies on “Are Egyptian doctors the saviours our health sector ?”

This we suggest is the real tragedy of our country – that people who should speak up – who indeed have a responsibility to speak up – just keep quiet. Yet they tell us things are getting better. The ideology that pushed our people out to Egypt as we kill off education system at home is perhaps a reason to weep some more for our beloved country.

Thank you for bring up such dereliction of responsibility, MDCN is more
interested in collecting fees than the protection of the interest
healthcare practitioners. That is why quacks compete effectively with
practitioners, house officers have no guarantee of a place to meet the
statutory requirement of internship etc etc. Yet MDCN will charge you
the same fees from abroad to maintain your name on the register as
someone who practices in Nigeria. Like all other aspects of governance
in Nigeria they no the price of everything and the value of nothing.
As for the NMA and other professional bodies its indeed amazing how
the mighty has fallen, we can see it even in their passivity with the
NHIS, something that had such a serious impact on practice.

Thank you for hooking unto their pressure point.


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