“Sierra Leone, with an estimated population of about seven million, we require a minimum of 1,400 medical doctors. And currently with less than 350 Sierra Leonean doctors registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Sierra Leone, you will all agree with me that the shortage of doctors at all levels … has reached critical proportions.”
Dr Abu Bakarr Fofanah said one way of addressing this shortage is the introduction of an in-country postgraduate training facility.
He was addressing members of the West African College of Physicians Sierra Leone chapter. The college is one of the few institutions that provide postgraduate medical training for Sierra Leoneans, but they have to travel to Nigeria.
The ministry of health has relied on sending graduate medical doctors overseas for postgraduate training. This, say officials, has not only proven costly, but also deprived the country the much-needed services of the trainee doctors when they study abroad. Many of them also fail to return at the conclusion of their training.
“So an in-country postgraduate medical training facility will greatly reduce brain drain, enable us train our doctors at a cheaper cost and rapid improvement of services,” said Dr Fofanah.