The Katsina State Government has decried the increasing migration of medical doctors and healthcare practitioners from government hospitals in search of greener pastures as disturbing.

Commissioner for Health, Engineer Yakubu Danja stated this at the commissioning ceremony of the Late Hajiya Mariya Masari 24-bed comprehensive female ward, donated by Alhaji Salisu Mamman Continental, at General Hospital, Katsina.

He identified the high rate of disengagement of doctors from hospitals and other healthcare centres as the major challenge affecting quality healthcare services available for residents.

Danja also stated the Hospital Systems Management Board (HSMB) is faced with difficulties of attracting and retaining the health workforce in the system.

It attributed it to poor remunerations, adding there has been a decline in the number of doctors by almost half between 2020 and 2022 in the system.

According to him: “The number of consultants and medical officers in 2020 were 219, and have gradually reduced to 112 in 2022 coupled with insufficient number of other skilled health workforce to cope with the increasing demand for healthcare services in the State.

‘’Other reasons for the dwindling number of doctors include: security challenges in some LGAs that have secondary facilities resulting in staff seeking for employment elsewhere if they cannot get posted to other facilities, brain drain to NGOs and other organizations that have better remuneration packages than the state government.”

He advocated Residency Training Programmes, replacement and special incentives for the health workers as some of the ways to address the challenges facing the hospitals in the State.

Governor Aminu Bello Masari while commissioning ward thanked Alhaji Salisu Mamman for appreciating the effort of the state government in the health sector and constructing the edifice to benefit the masses.