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Sign Agreement You Won’t Run Away After Graduation – Wike Tells Medical Students Sponsored By Rivers Gov’t

In a move aimed at addressing the shortage of healthcare professionals in Rivers State, the state government has announced a new policy requiring medical students under its sponsorship to sign an agreement committing them to serve the state upon graduation from medical school.

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The policy, announced by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Monday, aims to ensure that the investment made by the state government in sponsoring medical students is utilized to meet the healthcare needs of its residents.

Under the proposed agreement, students who have received financial support from the government will be required to serve in public health facilities in Rivers State for a specified period after completing their medical education.

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“What we have decided to do now, because let us not train these children and they run away. They must serve the state first. So, we are bringing up a policy that if we give scholarships to you and train you to become doctors, you must have a number of years you must also serve the State,” Wike said on Monday during the inauguration of a 500-bed capacity hostel for medical students of Rivers State University (RSU), Port Harcourt.

Wike emphasized that for the state government to make significant investments in sponsoring medical students, it must ensure their services benefit the state’s residents.

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“We are not training you to go and serve other people. We are training you to serve Rivers State. So, after those number of years you have served the state, you can go where you want to go.”

According to him, medical students to be given scholarships “must sign an agreement with the Rivers State government that you must also serve the State before you run away.

“Some of you will be married outside, but tell your husband too there is an obligation I owe (Rivers State) having trained me. Let him come and stay with you here, then after those number of years, you people can move to wherever you want to move.”

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The governor assured that outstanding scholarship expenses will be paid to the institution before he leaves office on May 29, 2023.

Nigeria, like many developing countries, has been grappling with the challenge of brain drain, particularly in the medical field.

This has led to the migration of highly skilled professionals, including doctors and healthcare practitioners, to more developed nations in search of better opportunities, working conditions, and remuneration.

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