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Japa: FG prohibits leave of absence for health workers

The Federal Government has placed a ban on leave of absence for health professionals relocating abroad.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa, who disclosed this on Saturday in Abeokuta said that health workers going abroad to seek greener pastures must “henceforth resign their appointment before embarking on such journeys”.

The Minister who spoke during his visit to the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Aro, said the directive was contained in the Executive Order issued by President Bola Tinubu.

He said the decision was taken to combat the challenge of brain drain fondly called ‘Japa Syndrome’ confronting the health sector.

The minister also disclosed that the federal government had commenced aggressive recruitment of manpower in the health sector.

According to him, the annual enrollment of Nurses which used to be about 28,000 had been increased to 68,000, adding that by the end of the year, it would have gone up to 120,000.

He said President Tinubu acknowledged the people as the biggest asset of the country and had vowed to take proactive measures to improve the health sector for their benefit.

On the shortage of manpower in the health sector, Alausa said the President had ordered massive recruitment of personnel to bridge the gap.

“In addition to the massive engagement of nurses, we have equally doubled our enrollment for doctors, dentists and pharmacists.

“However, the government has not prohibited anyone who wants to move to the UK or Australia to take up appointments not to do so.

“It is a free world. But, you cannot eat your cake and have it. If you are going, just resign your appointments with the federal government, rather than applying for a leave of absence.

“That is the Presidential Executive Order which has been communicated to all the Chief Medical Directors of Federal Government owned health facilities to implement,” he said. (NAN)

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