The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has condemned medical tourism despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s 90-day medical vacation to London.
Speaking on Monday August 7, 2017 during a visit to the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) in Abuja, the minister said medical tourism 'causes huge destruction' to Nigeria's economy.
recalls that President Buhari departed Nigeria 90 days ago to treat an undisclosed ailment in London.
Buhari’s prolong stay in London has led calls for his resignation by different individuals and civil society groups.
Commending NSIA in its interventions in the country especially in the area of healthcare, Mohammed noted that the organization has saved Nigeria huge amount of money.
He noted that other countries are building their economy from foreign exchange on health tourism.
“When relations have to travel with their patients to India, US, UK, Dubai, the destruction to the economy is huge,” the minister said.
“Healthcare is so important. Your interventions have saved Nigeria a billion dollars in foreign exchange. Most countries today are building the economy on health tourism.
“You are not just saving the country a billion dollars when your partnership with LUTH materializes, you are saving people a lot of pain, agony and inconvenience.
“The destruction to social life is huge. This is an area we should beam our searchlight and I hope you are able to complete it in the next couple of months,” he added.
Speaking earlier, the managing director, Uche Orji said the NSIA has boosted the production, distribution of fertilizers to farmers at highly affordable rates.
He noted that the NSIA has revived eleven blending plants used in fertilizer production adding that more would be revived in a few months.
These, according to Orji has led to increase yield and created jobs for over 500,000 Nigerians.