The federal government has said it is setting up affordable, world-class healthcare facilities to end medical tourism and the brain drain in the country.
Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Nigeria would soon end the more than 500 billion naira spent annually on medical tourism.
The Minister said this on Tuesday in Lagos during a media tour of the Duchess International Hospital.
He said the country will soon be welcoming foreign patients and medical personnel to its shores rather than having its citizens travel every year and spend over 500 billion naira on medical tourism.
“As a country, we will also conserve our foreign exchange reserves while earning foreign exchange, we will begin to reverse the brain drain in the health sector; create jobs and provide affordable and standard health care to our population. Of course, facilities like Duchess International are real tools for job creation, in addition to attracting medical tourists from all over the world.
“This is a new dawn for the healthcare industry and we are proud of what Duchess and other healthcare institutions are doing to bring this new dawn,” the minister said.
Mohammed noted that although the facility is privately led, the federal government has provided the necessary environment and funding for its completion.
He recalled that in the wake of COVID-19, the CBN established the N100 billion Health Sector Response Fund, which was later expanded to N200 billion.
He said the intervention fund was to provide credit support for the health sector through long-term, low-cost financing.
The chief executive of the hospital, Dr. Tokunbo Shitta-bey, said the facility aims to provide the highest level of healthcare to Nigerians.
He said the hospital would use the most advanced technology, staff and treatments to provide Nigerians with the best medical expertise available anywhere in the world.
Shitta-bey added that the health facility’s guiding philosophy was to reduce medical tourism in an affordable way with the same equipment and staff as in more advanced parts of the world.
According to him, the facility is available for community service, patients from all walks of life, offering a wide range of specialized services and treatments.