The Japa syndrome will be curtailed by building state-of-the-art infrastructure and making the health sector attractive and rewarding to workers irrespective of their fields.

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health, Hon (Dr.) Amos Magaji, made this statement while disclosing the closure of five wards over the manpower shortage by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.

The committee raised the alarm stating that the exodus of doctors and nurses from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital to various parts of the world has caused the decline in the country’s healthcare provision services, resulting in the closure of the five wards containing 150 beds.

Dr. Amos Magaji expressed his concern about the worrisome situation, noting that the legislative arm is working on ways to stop the increasing number of Nigerians traveling abroad for medical treatment.

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“Nigeria as a nation has found itself in a precarious moment, especially in the healthcare system where Japa has taken the center stage. We used to have Japa only for nurses and doctors, but now, it has gone to many departments in the health sector.

“As a committee, we will work together with the Federal Government and also with the teaching hospital to find a way out of these national embarrassments that have befallen this country. It is not something that can be fixed in one day, but we are going to approach it piecemeal. We are going to do what we can do immediately and what we can do long-term,” he said.

Dr. Amos further affirmed, “So, by the grace of God, we are actually looking at how to solve this problem, starting even from the enrollment in universities, and then how house officers are employed, and then of course, the residency programme.”

The situation is seen in line with reports that about 85 percent of doctors were planning to leave the country according to the data obtained from the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) earlier this year. According to NARD, six in ten of the country’s doctors plan to migrate to a foreign country.