Nigeria: Health Minister to Reverse U.S.$1 Billion Medical Tourism Capital Flight

Diseases Outbreaks
Prof Isaac Adewole

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has expressed concern over the huge capital spending on medical tourism by Nigerians, stating that over $1 billion is spent on medical tourism abroad to countries such as India, Malaysia, China, Egypt, United Kingdom and others, with 60 per cent of the fund spent in four major areas of cardiology, orthopaedic, renal dialysis issues and cancer. Adewole who disclosed this yesterday in Lagos at the fourth annual meeting of the Nigeria-America Medical Foundation (NAMFI) with the theme; ‘Overseas Consultations, Treatment Travel: Super-Specialty Care in Nigeria: Sustainable Solution,’ noted that the development of a medical tourism destination should be a conscious effort of multi-sectorial collaboration as evidenced by the United Arab Emirate (UAE) experience. He explained that the rising demand for international best practices and rapid growth being experienced by the medical tourism industry has opened up some lucrative investment opportunities, adding that the health sector is capable of yielding four-times the revenue generated by the hotel industry for the same amount of investment. Adewole expressed the commitment of the present administration to ensure that the health sector is repositioned in a manner that would strengthen the quality of service delivery and discourage medical tourism.

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