Doctors are 'burning out' in UK, to where Nigerian doctors are brain draining - what's going on?

27 April, 2019

These are really interesting times in Nigeria for health care and health care providers especially medical doctors:

- '˜Doctors brain drain is good because they send back dollars and pounds sterling' – Minister Ngige

- '˜Nigerians spend over N400 Billion on medical tourism abroad' – PresidentBuhari

- For us we quote a writer who said, '˜We need to be kinder to ourselves..... we need to be nicer to each other as well... corporate GP'S are only too happy to abuse a salaried doctor in an understaffed practice overstressed practice taking all the medicolegal liability... some treat staff like batteries use till expired and burnt out then simply replace respect yourself if you want others to look after yourself ring fence breaks, delegate back other duties insist on catch up slots, insist double appts for very complicated or those with lists

- Meanwhile in the UK that hoards of Nigerian doctors are brain draining to, read below about Doctors burning out -

90% of GPs at 'high risk' of burnout, major report finds

23 April 2019 By Karl Tomusk in PULSE Practice

Nearly nine out of 10 GP partners areat high or very high risk of burnout, according to a BMA report on mentalhealth in the sector.

GPs were the second most likely groupof respondents in a survey of 4,300 doctors and medical students with a 'high'or 'very high' risk of burnout - behind junior doctors. Overall, 80% of alldoctors were at 'high' or 'very high' risk.

Burnout, characterised byoverwhelming exhaustion, depersonalisation and reduced personal efficiency, islargely driven by exhaustion rather than disengagement from the job, the reportsaid.

It also revealed that 27% of doctorshave been diagnosed with a mental health condition. Rates were highest amongthe youngest respondents, and sessional GPs, SAS doctors and junior doctorswere particularly affected.

Respondents who worked more than 51hours in a week were most likely to be at risk of burnout, but those whoreported a mental health diagnosis were more likely to work 20-30 hours a week.The BMA suggested this might be because those doctors are more likely to startworking fewer hours.

Women (19.7%) were more likely tohave been diagnosed in the last 12 months than men (16.8%), and more women whosuffer from an emotional or psychological condition (40%) said it affects theirwork than men who suffer from the same conditions (38.8%).

In total, 90% of respondents saidtheir working, training or studying environment has contributed to theircondition.

Professor Dinesh Bhugra, BMApresident and professor of mental health at Kings College, London, said: 'Whilethere is no denying that being a doctor is a challenging and demanding role,too often the line of what can be considered routine pressures of the job hasmost definitely been crossed and the consequence is a workforce that has beenpushed to literal breaking point.

'As well as focusing on addressingthe immediate pressures which are negatively impacting doctors, such as longworking hours, unmanageable workloads and rota gaps, we need to see a widercultural shift that addresses this stigma that currently inhibits doctorsseeking help and ensures that support is publicised and readily available forthose who do so.'

According to the report, less thanhalf of respondents have been offered support, while more than 40% ofrespondents have asked for support but not received it. Just over half of thosewho received support said it partly met their expectations, while 13% said itdid not meet their expectations at all.

Dr Thomas Kitchen, an anaesthetistspecialist trainee, who works at Health Education and Improvement Wales, said:'œGiven their backgrounds and exposure to certain education systems and culture,many doctors and medical students can often feel a deep aversion to 'œfailing'and perhaps can't even perceive what failure would really mean or look like.

'Sadly, but inevitably in this job,particularly given the current pressures, not everything goes the way you wouldlike or plan, even when you have done everything right. How we manage ourselvesin the face of our perceived failings can add a unique pressure on top of alreadychallenging situations. We need to be kinder to ourselves.''


@HealthResources International (HRI) WA.

National Implementing Organisation:12-Pillar Clinical Governance

National Implementing Organisation: PACKNigeria Programme for PHC

Publisher: Medical and Health Journals;Books and Periodicals.

Nigeria: 8 Amaku Street, StateHousing & 20 Eta Agbor Road, Calabar.

Tel: +234 (0) 8063600642

Website: email:;

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group:

jneana AT