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« Cameroon Infrastructure Report Q2 2009 (Report Summary) | Main | Iran is Not on the Path of 1979 »

Thursday, 18 June 2009


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Agendia Aloysius

I don't comprehend why the Cameroon government keeps ranting that there is an acute shortage of medical doctors and other para medical personnel yet, the same government appoints surgoens and other medics to go and manage money in offices like the case of the Government Delegate to the Douala City council among others,whereas their places should be in the theatres and hospitals. Dirty politics and visionless politics

I dont understand why the government allows the several medics trained in CUSS with tax payers money to evade the country for so called greener pastures.
Inasmuch i advocate decent pay for public service medics, the government should compell all CUSS graduates wishing to leave the country to refund money enough to train at least, two medical doctors before they leave.


I definitely agree with you Mr Agendia. A lot of tax payers money is incured in training these guys. Tell me which medical school in the world will train you for free. I mean, train you and just let you disappear into thin air. Law makers in Cameroon are a bunch of heavy sleepers. Can't they figure out a way to minimize this abuse?

What about all those trained teachers that are abroad yet still earn salaries at home? With all these corrupt practices from left and right, top and bottom, what will be left in Cameroon. That nation has been raped and abused. Who is to be blamed? Sad but true.


A country in which doctors effectively make less than street cops is in serious trouble.


This is a dumb question with a simple answer.

BECAUSE THEY ARE UNDERPAID AND OVERWORKED. Duh! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that.

Ras Tuge

Is this not the same country where doctors treacherously claim to go for further studies, and still expect the chickenfeed salaries paid eventhough they never want to return?! The Bumboklaats say they're getting plenty money in Babylon, but i wonder why they won't let some diligent person back home to get that little bread. Why blame the country when all some of us do is cheat her? What a disgrace!


What is the solution? I know many doctors from the 70s and 80s who came originally with the intent to return and they got caught up in their lives here. Since the 90s the doctors who come have left with no intention to return. One of the solutions is to make it easy for doctors to form private partnerships and corporations and to open private practices freely that compete in price and quality of care. Right now the regulations make it very hard to do this. It is a socialist model, when Cam government is not committed to it. Socialist models work, as long as the government is committed. West Cameroon government had a socialist model, and it provided better quality service than we see even today, because the hospitals were clean and had supplies at least. Most health care systems in Europe are socialist and are quite good. Cameroon government likes to imitate everything from France, so on surface it looks like a socialist model, but it cannot sustain it.

My solution is to Take the restrictions off the private sector. Government and medical societies should concern itself with exercising standards. Foreign medical doctors meeting those standards should be allowed to emigrate from such places as Nigeria, Ghana, India and Cuba. The problem will be solved very quickly, but such a free market solution should be accompanied by other measures to liberalize the economy

the son

2004 statastics indicated that only about 1000 out of he 4000 doctors were employed by the government sector leaving 3000 unemployed and this should be a typical reason for the massive brain drain.


I live in Brescia, Italy and just in this small town close to Milan there are 7 Cameroonian practising doctors ranging from Orthopaedics, Surgeons to Anesthetists and others,about 4 more will graduate within the coming year and none is intending to go back home. I wander what the situation is like in other towns,cities and countries in the diaspora. If all these sons and daughters of Cameroon decide not to go back and serve their country then the government should find out why and redress the situation because you can't tell me that all these folks just want to stay here and practise here where they are given the jobs and paid well but still looked upon as immigrants and outsiders. So let the government look into this matter seriously and address the concerns of not only doctors but other health professionals if she really wants to address the inbalance in the physician/population ratio.

Ras Tuge

Son, not anywhere in a million countries would you have the government employing everybody. That is just an unrealistic expectation man. Doesn't it suffice for the 4000 doctors according to your statistics, to be fortunate enough to get free education? Do you know the price some of us had to pay to be trained in Babylon, and yet many people still have the will to assist in building a new Cameroon?

Like i've said before, the average Cameroonian is neither ambitious nor enterprising. Must the government give you a beautiful girl and a golden bed to jam her? Gosh, the manner in which some of you guys reason really baffles me. It's about time Cameroonians assist in creating alternative avenues for employment back home, and then the government shall be compelled to listen. Hopefully a new regime shall soon come that will understand these things.

Tori Massa

Those in power wants people to leave the country so that they become Lords and keep away competition.

Doctor Ben

Ras Tuge, doctors are not free to open private practices. The processes are opaque and byzantine and take unduly long. In most countries, it is well regulated, but the process is quite straight forward. I have practiced medicine in 5 different countries, and in no country could I practice without a license, but then the conditions for getting a license were direct. You produced your credentials, payed a fee to a professional authority that looked over them and generally within a month, you get a license. In Cameroon, I applied but did not see the license over a year later. I was already practicing "illegally" by then, with a lot of discomfort, because in most jurisdictions, it is an offense that could land you in prison. A private practice permit is an even bigger problem. In most places, all that is required is a business license and inspection of the premises by health and safety officials to make sure you are up to specs. The backwardness in Cameroon is to a large extent the product of policy. It is easier to emigrate than to fight the power or to do things that are illegal or unregulated.


As long as the conditions of service remain poor, doctors will continue to leave. Also if the gov't says school fees for all tertiary institutios is fifty (50,000) francs including faculty of medicine, it is crap to read that doctors are trained free. The problem is not the cost of training doctors, because Cameroonians go to Niger, Chad, Mali, Togo in hundreds to attend medical schools and the pay at least 500.000 frs for fees, but will still move to seek greener pastures.Change things and keep your docs home.Period


Your blame the victim argument makes no sense. Go easy on the smoke man.


Well said Paty. Pure CRAP that doctors are trained on tax payers money in CUSS for free. Apart from the fees they have to pay, you have to see the conditions under which those students study: under equipped hospitals, labs with 19th century microspcopes, with as many as 15 students crowded over 1 of those old microspcopes. The truth is, the tax payers money is eaten by the corrupt officials of the governement and they dont giv a shit to the hospital conditions under which these doctors are trained. If they were concerned, they would use the tax payers money to build infrastructure and equip those teaching hospitals for those MD students. But what do they do: the president goes on a holiday spree where he spends 2million CFA in a single day. So stop talking shit about CUSS MDs bieng trained for free. Doctor Ben and others who are more intelligent have responded well. The environment is hostile to their growth and survival. Furthermore the government wants to remain in the middle ages, doesnt want to relax its terrible grip to ease creation of private practice and the setting up of private businesses, talk less of facilitating the return of those who are trained abroad. And about compelling CUSS graduates to stay home, thats the dumbest thing I have heard for a while, for it simply wont work. The solution, which has already been clearly aoutlined above, is simple and as someone has said it, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure it out.


Its easy to talk but when you`re in the situation, you really get to feel the ipact. How easy is it to work under very unfavourable working conditions? Like seeing a patient die and you cant do a thing? Because you dont have the appropriate diagnostic facilities and may instead worsen a situation? Its easy to say, but te reality is that its very frustrating working here. No incentives, the wrong guys get promotions just because they have the connexions, etc. Am a 6th year Cameroonian medical student, in the University of Buea. I really want to work in Cameroon, but as i see things more clearly, i wonder if one can cope with this disgusting system! Its not all about the money as people think

Dr Ben

I feel your pain, my child. Why do I say my child? Most of you medical students were not yet born by the time I got out of medical school. Cameroon is trapped in the hands of unpatriotic thieves. Most doctors do not want to practice politics. They just want to take care of people while not living in abject poverty. Most countries do something to make sure that something of the sort happens. People of the profession leave Cameroon because they begin to die inside. Can Philemon Yang change things?

Dr Fongue

i trained in nigeria,during my internship (housemanship)i received abt 600,000frs cfa monthly,.what am i coming to do again in cameroon?Cameroon government should stop insult civil servants,especially doctors.And i am on my way to america i just urge my colleagues to once in a while come home and give a helping hand.


I am still sceptical about the idea of increased wages as a solution to brain drain. Given our level of technological development, any increases in wages without corresponding increase in value, would only lead to inflationary spiral. I think some form of subsidised living (well equiped estates for highly-skilled essential professionals) is a better option.

I am also wary of selective indignation: by personal estimation, at least 90% of Cameroonians trained abroad through the public purse, never return. They completely ignore that they are also the products of collective effort. Also, very few (if any) Cameroonians raised eye brows when consecutive governments waisted billions paying "stipends" to university students, instead of improving infrastructure.

If you benefit from a bad system, you are an accomplice.

Happy New Year to all regular contributors of Upstation Mountain Club

drug rehab new york

There should be incentives for the profession. This is to control the large migration of doctors.

John Dinga

To understand the problem of medical practice in Cameroon one needs to recognize how politics has crept amoeba-like into all possible domains and crippled everything. Doctors in the public service are hardly happy because of the usual man-know-man practice that is so pervasive and tends to place neophytes over their professional seniors,oblivious of the consequences for morale.

Logically, the answer would have been to move on to private practice. But here again, it is a very distressing scenario. Quite apart from official red tape, the individual practitioners too have fallen victim to the Cameroonian curse of "trust-nobody-but-thyself". What do I mean by this? Just take a look at the once thriving private practices in towns like Bamenda, Kumba or Victoria. Dr.Kwankam died and his clinic in Kumba went with him. The same can be said of Dr.S. M. Abba and his Moselo Clinic, also of Kumba, and Dr. Effiom. In Bamenda, Dr Mundi's clinic is only in the archives. Dr. Nana, Dr. Adeso. In Victoria, Dr Tchwenko's clinic got burnt to ashes, Dr. Abunaw's went thirty-nine steps down to no-return, Dr. Mokonya Njie's and so on and so on. I am sure many others can be documented, with the same sad endings. What is true of clincs is equally true of Pharmacies. If these were products of teamwork, I am certain the institutions would survive their founders.

Take a look at the relevant presidential decrees that provide for the opening and operation of these human service institutions. Most of them are inoperable, requiring a real Darwinian battle of survival of the fittest or those who can speak the language very well. Na lie?

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