The Governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu says 70, 000 medical doctors in the country as announced by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) cannot cater for the health needs of Nigerians.

Aliyu made the remark in Minna on Thursday when the Chairman of the state chapter of the association, Dr Umar Alhaji, paid him a courtesy visit.

He stressed the need to increase the number of medical practitioners to enable them take care of the health needs of Nigerians.

The governor expressed the need to encourage more Nigerians to study medicine, saying that it would lead to improvement in health care delivery in urban and rural areas.

Aliyu said the state government had set up a committee to see to the possibility of sponsoring more indigenes of the state to study medicine within and outside the country,

He said that not less than 100 indigenes of the state would be sponsored for medical training abroad in 2014.

Aliyu said that his administration would also explore the possibility of recruiting expatriate doctors to bridge the wide gap of patients to doctor’s ratio.

He said that only qualified medical doctors who were versed in the English language would be recruited.

On the forthcoming national conference of the association, Aliyu promised to support the association by providing accommodation, transport and other logistics for delegates.

He commended the NMA in the state for collaborating with his administration to improve health care delivery.

Earlier, Alhaji said that the association had provided free medical services to over 1,795 persons in the state.

Alhaji said, they also provided eye treatment to 130 patients and supplied 40 eye glasses to them.

He said that the association also provided free medical service to people living with HIV and AIDS as well as free screening for diabetes and hypertension.

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