- Lai Mohammed has announced that the country loses a whooping sum of N664 billion naira to medical tourism yearly
- The minister while decrying the growing brain drain in the medical industry said the federal government is implementing several interventions to address the issue
- One of such initiatives, Mohammed said is the creation of enabling environment for private-sector-driven enterprises across the country
The Nigerian government has said that leaders and citizens of the country spend between $1.2 billion and $1.6 billion (N664 billion at N415 per dollar) on medical tourism annually.
Mohammed 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.
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Describing the trend as a drain of Nigeria's foreign reserves, Mohammed said that health interventions and the creation of enabling environment for private-sector-driven enterprises are being put in place.
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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).
"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: Nigerian medical doctor in Ukraine shares video, tells how he crossed to Poland
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.