Health care Nigerians have spent N175 billion on medical tourism in 2017 as country's health care deteriorates

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The health care sector has deteriorated and Nigerians are seeking healthcare abroad.

Nigerians are flocking to other countries to receive quality treatment. play

Nigerians are flocking to other countries to receive quality treatment.

(Nihgerian Monitor)
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Nigerians have spent up to N175 billion in 2017 on medical tourism and unless the healthcare sector is given attention, it may get worse according to a former minister of health.

At least N175 billion annually to medical tourism at the 2017 edition of Faculty Week & Scientific Conference with the theme “Medical Tourism in Nigeria” at Obafemi Awolowo University.

The conference  centred around how medical tourism has become a norm in Nigeria and how the growing trend can be handled.

How is medical tourism affecting the medical sector?

The former Minister of Health revealed the money Nigerians were spending on traveling to other countries for medical treatment was more than half of the total budget for the 2018 federal health sector.

"Skill proficiency becomes a victim as both trainers and trainees are not exposed to enough cases and of course quality of care ultimately suffers,"Prof. Chukwu said.

He also said that,"As outbound medical tourism gradually becomes the preference of patients, the local sector loses the confidence of the populace resulting in low esteem and loss of morale among the health personnel.

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What improvement can be made to change this?

Chukwu suggested that the government should standardize the health sector by supporting it with standard medical equipment that is equal to those found abroad to encourage people to seek medical care in Nigeria.

Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi who is the Group Chairman of Mutual Benefits Assurance said that the government needs to fund the medical sector as a means of combating the growing problem of medical tourism.