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FG Releases Details of Money Leaders, other Nigerians Spend on Medical Tourism Yearly

May 11, 2022

Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The Nigerian government has said that leaders and citizens of the country spend between $1.2 billion and N1.6 billion (N664 billion at N415 per dollar) on medical tourism annually.

Daily Trust reports that the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alh Lai Mohammed, made the disclosure at the guided tour of the Duchess International Hospital in Lagos on Tuesday, May 10.

Lai has decried the level of brain drain in Nigeria’s medical sector.

He also stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria is determined to stop the continued trend of citizens seeking solutions to their medical challenges outside the shores of the country.

Mohammed said that health interventions and the creation of enabling environment for private-sector-driven enterprises are being put in place.

Medical intervention projects by Nigerian government

According to the minister, one of such interventions is the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) which has invested $22.5 million in two diagnostic centres in Kano and Umuahia ($5.5 million each).

He said the initiative also saw an investment of $11.5 million into the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre in Lagos ($11.5 million).

His words: “With that, we can conserve our foreign reserves, earn foreign exchange for the country, create jobs, reverse brain drain, become a destination for medical tourists and also ensure affordable and standard healthcare for Nigerians.

 “According to available records, Nigerians spend between USD1.2 and USD1.6 billion on medical tourism. That’s a huge drain on our foreign reserves.”

Mohammed added that in a bid to retain doctors, Nigeria’s healthcare facilities must be equipped to the world standard level and doctors and other healthcare workers must be adequately remunerated.

Nigerian doctors abroad say govt didn’t allow them improve healthcare system

The federal government had been accused of frustrating the efforts of Nigerian medical practitioners to improve Nigeria’s healthcare system.

The accusation was made by the Nigerian medical practitioners in the diaspora under the umbrella of the Diaspora Professional Health Initiative.

The association said the government turned down the strategies they came up with just when it was about implementing them.

Finally, I escaped Putin:

A Nigerian man who crossed the Polish border had narrated his rough experiences of how he was able to make it out of Ukraine.

The man identified as Dr Awofaa lived in Ukraine before the Russian invasion and he was forced to flee to a safer place.

Awofaa said he found it tough crossing to Poland where he sought refuge especially as there were some levels of racial discrimination at the Polish border.

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