Medical Brain Drain in Nigeria: A Health System Leadership Crisis


  • Ipinnimo TM Community Medicine Department, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, Nigeria
  • Ajidahun EO University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria.
  • Adedipe AO Chief of Staff Clinic, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria.



Brain drain, Healthcare system, Leadership, Medical, Nigeria


The problem of shortage of healthcare professionals in sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria which has about 25% of the global disease burden but less than 2% of the healthcare workforce has been further compounded by the medical brain drain. The medical brain drain in Nigeria could be attributed to the failure of health system leadership in the country that stems from poor insight and neglect of the problem. Nigeria’s healthcare professionals have been migrating in drones to the United Kingdoms, United States, Canada, Australia and other developed nations. To stem this tide, there is a need for the government at all levels to prioritize this menace on the political agenda and work in conjunction with healthcare institutions administrators, other leaders and stakeholders within the health sector to promote and improve welfare, working conditions, job security and satisfaction among healthcare workers as no other category of workers are so essential to the well-being of the people.