Why Nigerians will continue to seek medical treatment abroad – Health minister

by Azeez Adeniyi

Minister of Health, Prof. Issac Oyewole on Thursday said Nigeria will require $1 billion annually to stop its citizens from traveling abroad fro medical treatment.

Adewole spoke at the commissioning of the permanent secretariat of West African College of Surgeons, Yaba, Lagos.

Adewole said the present administration is committed to halting medical tourism.

He said plans were underway to upgrade some tertiary health institutions to enable them render services for which Nigerians were going abroad.

He said, “In our 2017 budget proposal, we have committed N11.7 billion to upgrade at least seven tertiary health institutions, in which each one will receive N300 million and medical centres will receive N120 million. Fistula Centres will receive N50 million so that they can have water and electricity and function well.

“Then the strategic intervention will be to provide equipment to render services for the three main reasons Nigerians travel abroad, such as cancer, renal disorders and cardiac cases.”

He said through the $500 million received from the World Bank, states have been supported to revitalize their healthcare.

“This will enable them to revitalize their primary and secondary healthcare. We are committed to this course simply because we believe it will help us to decongest our tertiary health institution. ‘’Those who have fever, pain and diarrhoea have no business going to tertiary centres, it should be allowed to really commit themselves to the core business of socialized healthcare.

“Maiduguri is also queuing to develop first class trauma centre but for no reason that facilities is at the art of Boko Haram and they have to deal with many cases of injuries across the country,” Adewole said.

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