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Nigeria tops UK foreign medic list, with 4,722 nurses

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Nigeria nurses top NHS list of foreign medics

The British National Health Service (NHS) Digital says Nigeria leads the list of newly registered medics in the United Kingdom over the last five years, with 4,722 Nigerian-trained nurses and midwives.

According to data published yesterday by the Daily Mail UK online, one in every three doctors and nurses recruited by the NHS in England last year came from abroad, raising concerns that the health service is becoming overly reliant on foreign recruits.

According to a BBC analysis of NHS Digital data, the proportion of healthcare staff recruited from abroad nearly doubled between 2014 and 2021.

Nigeria was only surpassed by India and the Philippines, which had 21,357 and 17,825 nurses and midwives, respectively.

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Nigeria is followed by Zimbabwe (1,633), Ghana (1,333), Australia (774), Italy (764), Republic of Ireland (748), Romania (663), Kenya (641), Jamaica (498), Portugal (482), Nepal (451), United States (432), Spain (371), UAE (298), Guyana (264), Saudi Arabia (246), Greece (231), and Trinidad & Tobago (192).

The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) reports that there are over 250,000 registered nursing and midwifery professionals in Nigeria.

According to the analysis, 34% of doctors who joined the health service in 2021 came from outside the country, with India, Pakistan, and Nigeria being the most popular.

This is nearly double the proportion of overseas recruits in 2015, when it was only 18%. In 2020-21, the NHS employed 39,558 UK-trained doctors and nurses. This is approximately 3,200 more than in 2014 and 2015.

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