A BBC investigation has unearthed horrifying exploitation of Doctors recruited from some of the poorest countries in the world to work in hospitals in the UK.
These doctors say they are facing exploitation and are so overworked they worry about putting patients’ health at risk.
A British healthcare company called NES Healthcare is accused of targeting doctors specifically from Nigeria.
The investigation found they are expected to work in private hospitals under conditions that are not allowed in the National Health Service – the UK’s publicly funded healthcare system.
However, NES Healthcare disputes the BBC findings and insists it provides a safe and supportive career route.
The company says feedback about doctors’ experiences with them is extremely positive.
But the British Medical Association has called some of the working conditions a disgrace to UK medicine.
Meanwhile, a total of 10,296 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria currently practice in the UK. Nigeria continues to battle one of the worst situations of brain drain in its history.
In just one month no fewer than 200 Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed by the government of the United Kingdom.
The British Medical Journal previously published a back-of-the-envelope calculation by Mills et al. suggesting that the emigration of physicians from Africa cost the continent billions of dollars and saved billions for the countries of destination.
A 2011 study by Edward J. Mills, a professor of public health in Canada’s University of Ottawa, and other researchers on nine sub-Saharan African countries showed that governments spent between U$21,000 to U$58,7000 to subsidise a doctor’s education.
Therefore, losing thousands of doctors to other countries after graduation puts each of these African countries at a huge financial loss.
The overall loss of return was estimated to be in billions of dollars. The United Kingdom was reported to be the highest beneficiary with U$2.7 billion, followed by the United States with U$846 million, according to the report by Professor Mills and others.
Wealthier countries have made it simple for medical brain drain from Africa.
Being high-value immigrants in their countries of destination, they have access to various immigration pathways leading to permanent residence.
This includes the Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and the Employment-Based Green Card in the U.S., which can later lead to citizenship by naturalisation.
Low pay, paucity of job opportunities, poor infrastructure, and a bleak future for their children are some of the factors responsible for the mass emigration of African health workers.
“I left Nigeria because I wanted to earn more money, learn new things, and to practice in a better environment,” a Nigerian doctor practicing in the U.S. told Africa Renewal in 2016.
On average, surgeons in Zambia earn U$24,000 and Kenyan physicians make on average U$6,000. However, surgeons in New Jersey, United States, earn $216,000 USD annually.
Doctor salaries in Rwanda range from RWF597,000 per month(U$562) (minimum average salary) to RWF2,750,000 per month (U$2590).
Doctor Salary in the United Kingdom
Doctor salary in the UK ranges from £61,300, being the lowest salary to £282,000, being the highest salary. An average doctor’s salary in the UK is around £76,300 per year.
This average annual salary includes transport, housing, and other benefits. A doctor’s salary in the United Kingdom also varies with the specialty and role in the career in the UK.
An experienced doctor in the UK can earn up to £121,300 per year. Doctors with experience of about 20 years or more can earn up to £143,200. An MBBS doctor’s salary in the UK per month can range from £2,560, being the lowest salary to £9,750, being the highest.