‘Government neglect, prioritisation of cheap labour killing nursing profession’

A former Deputy Director of Nursing at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Olufemi Iseyemi has lamented that the nursing profession in Nigeria is on the brink of collapse due to alleged government neglect and the prioritisation of cheap labour in private healthcare facilities.

Iseyemi expressed concern that qualified nurses are facing unemployment or underemployment due to the preference for less-qualified, cheaper staff by many private healthcare facilities.

She stressed that this has led to a situation where experienced nurses are struggling to find work, while the quality of healthcare in Nigeria continues to suffer.

Speaking exclusively with PUNCH Healthwise, the former nursing director said that the government must step in to provide more support for nurses, including better job opportunities and improved working conditions.

Iseyemi added that limited career advancement opportunities and the exorbitant costs of nursing education make it even more challenging for them.

“The nursing profession is devalued due to the blurred distinction between qualified nurses and untrained personnel.

“Moreover, the need for clear educational pathways and the preference for unqualified staff in private hospitals only make things worse. More importantly, this is driven by cost-cutting motives and compounds qualified nurses’ struggles.

“Consequently, many of these professionals are forced to search for employment abroad because they need more opportunities at home. It is disheartening to see that such a noble profession faces many challenges in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian nursing landscape is dire, with qualified nurses facing unemployment or underemployment due to government neglect and the prioritisation of cheap labour in private healthcare facilities.

“These nurses, already burdened with the high cost of their training, are forced to look for opportunities overseas, leaving behind a system that needs to recognise their invaluable skills and contributions,” she lamented.

Iseyemi, however, insisted inefficiencies of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, as alleged, pose further challenges, especially with certification delays and oppressive practices that undermine their autonomy and dignity.

The former nursing director maintained that there is a need for collaborative efforts to ensure that nurses receive the support and recognition they deserve.

She stated, “This neglect of Nigerian nurses impacts their well-being, leading to discontent and frustration in the healthcare sector.

“It is time for the government and the NMCN to take concrete steps to address these issues and provide Nigerian nurses with the recognition, respect, and support they deserve.

“The nursing profession in Nigeria stands at a critical juncture, with nurses grappling with many obstacles that threaten their professional growth and overall satisfaction.

“Addressing these challenges dictates a concerted effort from government authorities, healthcare stakeholders, and the public to create a supportive and enabling environment that values and respects nurses’ significant contributions to society.

“Only through collective action and genuine recognition of their worth can Nigerian nurses thrive and continue to serve their country with unwavering dedication and pride.”

PUNCH Healthwise had earlier reported that the National President of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Micheal Nnachi, lamented the loss of members to other countries due to poor wages and an indecent working environment in the country.

He revealed that over 75,000 NANNM members have since migrated abroad in the past five years for some reasons including lack of social protection, insurance, and inadequate compensation including other incentives.

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

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