What is the salary of doctors in Nigeria? The importance of doing a thorough research before choosing a course to study in the university cannot be overemphasized. One of the things you must find out about the course you are dreaming to study is the Salary structure of those who have graduated with good grades in that field. This is very important because some courses pay better than other.
Couple with the Salary structure, you must also pay attention to the location and job opportunities available to students who studied the same course with you. In Nigeria, Doctors are deemed to be the most paid in the country. But that is not totally true. In deciding the salary structure of a lawyer, you must pay attention to a whole lot of things.
This article therefore discusses everything you need to know about the monthly Salary of doctors in Nigeria. If you are wishing to become a lawyer someday, it is imperative that you read this article.
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The Medical Profession in Nigeria
The Medical profession is a unique and well respected profession. It is one of the highest paying in the world, and Nigeria is not an exception. Medicine and Surgery is the field of practice which covers the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases. It furthers involves Medical research, and other aspects of health with the aim of promoting and maintaining the good health of everyone.
The Category of persons in the medical profession include physicians, Radiographers, Optometrists, pharmacist, dentists, Scientists, dieticians, psychiatrists, Surgeons, Nurses, and Doctors. For the purpose of this work, we shall focus on the Medical Doctor.
Factors that determine the salary of a Medical doctor in Nigeria
Just like every other profession, a whole lot of factors come into play when determining the salary of a Medical doctor in Nigeria. What this means is that, there is no actual amount of money that is a doctor’s salary in the country. It all depends on the place of work of the doctor, experience of the medical doctor, area of specialization of the doctor etc. All this will be discussed below as we continue:
1. Place of work: Apparently government owned hospitals usually pay better than private hospitals. Thus, doctor’s working in a federal or state owned hospital is likely going to earn higher than those working in the private sector.
But as you may also know, some big private hospitals pay very well too. For example, doctors working at Lagoon Hospital, Reddington Hospital, Eko Hospital, Nicholas Hospital and other big hospitals in the country are going to be earn very big too.
2. Experience of the doctor: Experience is always a determining factor when you talk about the salary of any profession and doctors are not exceptional. In fact, the more experienced you are as a doctor will determine how employable you will be especially in big private hospitals. This kind of hospitals is always looking for the big of all the doctors in the country. And one of the way they get that is by knowing how experienced their employees are.
3. Area of specialization: No doubt, some areas in the medical field pay better than others. This is the same in almost every profession too. Neurosurgeon has been confirmed to be the highest paying medical field in Nigeria and other parts of the world today. It pays very well and it takes time for one to complete his/her education in the field too.
It is improper to compare the salary of a Neurosurgeon and a Orthodontist in Nigeria. Even though they are both doctors, the former is going to be paid higher. So you see, area of specialization is a key factor too.
There are other factors that determine the salary of a Medical doctor in Nigeria but what I have discussed above are the major factors. This is to make you understand that the salary mentioned below are just the average paid to Nigerian doctors.
Salary Structure of a Nigerian Medical Doctor 2024
The salary of a Medical doctor in Nigeria is regulated by the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, otherwise known as (CONMESS) for the federal level and Public hospitals, while that of Medical Doctors in private hospitals and practice is regulated by the proprietor of the hospital or it’s relevant board. Flowing from the above, below is the Salary structure of a Medical doctor in a Federal or private hospital at each level:
1. Housemanship: After one has graduated from Medical School, such person is required to undergo a compulsory one year housemanship. Housemanship is just like an internship, it provides a platform where newly inducted Doctors get to work with other Medical Doctors on a professional structure.
Housemanship Salary varies between 100,000 – 300,000 per month, depending on the Hospital you intend to complete your Housemanship.
Also see: Salary of Lawyers in Nigeria 2024
2. NYSC Internship: After a one year compulsory Housemanship, a Doctor is required to undergo the National Youth Service Corps Scheme, hereinafter referred to as NYSC.
During the Course of the NYSC, Doctors are deployed to Hospitals in the state they are serving. The Monthly Salary of such Doctor depends on the hospital he or she was posted to. While some hospitals pay a lot of money to these Doctors, some others pay little, and in a circumstance the hospital one is deployed to doesn’t pay at all, such Doctor will have to depend on the Federal Government NYSC monthly allowance of N30,000.
3. Medical officers: After NYSC, a Medical doctor could work in a Private or Public hospitals. For those that intend to work in a Public or Government hospital, which here comprises of both State and Federal hospitals, a medical officer earns around 150,000 – 200,000. A Registrar earns around 220,000 – 300,000, a senior Registrar earns around 260,000- 470,000, while a Consultant earns 450,000- 800,000. A senior consultant could earn even more.
4. Doctors in Private Hospitals: The Salary of Doctors in a Private hospital is relatively low compared to Doctors in Government hospitals. A resident Doctor could earn around 40,000- 100,000, A Registrar 120,000- 250,000, A Consultant 400,000- 600,000 Naira.
How Doctors Can Increase Their Salary In Nigeria
Except you have an upper hand or you are experienced in the medical profession, it will be very difficult to augment your salary to, at least, meet up with the increasing price of things in the country. That being said, one way to increase your salary as doctor in Nigeria is to become a content creator in the medical niche.
This pays very high in Nigeria, especially now where millions of people consume contents on social media every day. In fact, i personally know some young doctors and nurses in Nigeria who are currently doing very well on YouTube and Instagram just by sharing knowledge.
If you’re are personally creative then that is a plus to you. The most interesting thing is the fact that, this strategy can earn you more social media presence, money, trust and even knowledge while you are still working as a doctor in any place you find yourself.
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Facts About The Medical Profession In Nigeria
1. There is a Shortage of Doctors in Nigeria: Nigeria has a doctor-to-patient ratio of 1:5,000, which is much higher than the ideal ratio of 1:600 set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This doctor shortage in Nigeria is a serious concern for the Nigerian healthcare system and has a substantial impact on the quality of healthcare in the nation. Medical schools are not producing enough doctors. There are only 38 medical schools in Nigeria, and they are not generating enough doctors to meet the need.
2. Brain Drain: Brain drain is one of the elements behind Nigeria’s doctor deficit. In order to work overseas and earn greater income and enjoy better working circumstances, many Nigerian doctors are leaving their home country.
The government is extremely concerned about the impact that the brain drain of Nigerian physicians is having on the country’s healthcare system but the doctors owe themselves and their families a duty to find greener pastures.
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3. Medical Education and Training of Doctors: In Nigeria, universities and colleges offer medical education, and becoming a doctor requires a minimum of six years of study. A well-rounded medical workforce with the knowledge and abilities to deliver high-quality healthcare is the goal of Nigeria’s medical education program.
To ensure that Nigeria has enough medical professionals to address its healthcare needs, greater funding for medical education is necessary due to the country’s doctor shortage.
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4. Rigorous study process: Medicine and surgery is one the courses in Nigeria that has the most rigorous demands. The journey to the study of medicine starts from the choice of courses offered at the secondary school. Medicine being a field of science, all doctors must be science inclined. Science courses such as chemistry, physics and biology are ordinarily technical. These are the courses that medical students leverage on and expand to its fullest. The admission quotas for medicine in various Nigerian universities are always highly competitive. Only the best few are selected to study medicine each year, out of the numerous applicants. Studying medicine in Nigeria takes a whooping six academic years.
Through the years, the students do write professional examinations which qualify them for the next level. Students also go for clinical postings which forms an integral part of the learning process. After the students have successfully written and passed their last professional examination, they’d be awarded MBBS (Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Surgery) and become qualified to be inducted into the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, a body which gives them the license to practice medicine in Nigeria. That is not the end of their academic journey. As a practicing medical doctor, education is a continuing one. As a matter of fact, after graduation, the next step is to do compulsory housemanship/internship, which is still a learning process.
After the housemanship, the practitioners proceed with compulsory youth service program, after which they can get a job. During their jobs, they practice as resident a doctor which is still a learning process. During the residency, doctors usually specialise, learn the intricacies of their chosen specialty, and write examinations. Basically, the practice of medicine is education-inclined, because even as qualified and licensed doctors, they still study and write examinations in order to get to the next stage.
5. High Patient to Doctor Ration: The World Health Organisation has recommended the appropriate working ration for doctors worldwide. Thus, the international standard of doctor to patient ratio according to the World Health Organisation is 1:600. However, currently in Nigeria, by the records of 2020, the doctor to patient ratio is 4:10,000.
That is to say, each doctor attends to 10,000 patients. This is far beyond the international standard. This is a lot of workload for a system as critical as the health sector. Little wonder why there is continued high rate of emigration from the medical line in Nigeria. They’d rather preferred to travel overseas where there is better ratio of doctor to patients, and where there is enticing remuneration for doctors.
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6. The Regulatory Body: The regulatory body of medical doctors is the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. This is the body which all doctors must be inducted into.
The body is also in charge of licensing doctors. The body regulates both medicine and dentistry, as they are all doctors.
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In conclusion, there is no doubt that the salary of doctors mentioned above is very small when compared with what medical doctors earn in other countries of the world today. Nigeria still remains one of the least when it comes to payment of doctors.
This is the reason for the high rate of brain drain in the country too. Recently, it was reported that doctors all over the country even went on strike so as to ensure that the government of Nigeria pay them their salary and this is not a good thing to talk about. For further information, you can watch the video below. Meanwhile, if you have comments or contributions to the salary above kindly drop your comments.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.