Osinbajo frowns at medical tourism practice in Nigeria

Osinbajo says investments in top medical care is set to birth one of the fastest growth areas in a resurgent Nigerian economy.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo [Presidency]

Members of Nigeria's political class often hop on flights to hospitals abroad, most times at tax payers' expense, as they seek for solutions to debilitating or the slightest health concerns.

"We must reverse the trend of outbound medical tourism,” the vice president said on March 11, 2021 in a virtual speech delivered at the official unveiling of the Evercare Hospital in Lekki, Lagos.

He added that there is a need to “attract, not just medical tourists from our neighbors in the region, but also become the place of choice for even developed countries’ medical tourists looking to jump long queues for specialized procedures at home.”

Osinbajo said investments in top medical care and the overall healthcare sector in Nigeria is set to birth one of “the fastest growth areas in a resurgent Nigerian economy."

Evercare Hospital, a part of the Evercare Group, operates as an integrated healthcare delivery platform in emerging markets across Africa and South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya and Nigeria.

The international group has set aside a $1billion healthcare fund.

“The business case for more top quality medical care in Nigeria has always seemed quite obvious, but I think the fact that the Evercare Health Fund, (a US$ 1 billion emerging markets healthcare fund) has chosen to invest in healthcare in Nigeria, clearly confirms even to the greatest skeptics that we are seeing the birth of what may well become one of the fastest growth areas in a resurgent Nigerian economy,” the vice president submitted.

He also emphasized that the emergence of the Evercare Hospital will bring about a U-turn in the brain drain of medical personnel trained in Nigeria, who are engaged in hospitals abroad because of better remuneration and better facilities.

Noting the peculiarity of the situation in Nigeria in terms of accessibility to healthcare, Osinbajo pointed out that “we have by far the largest number of middle-to-low income communities and individuals in sub-Saharan Africa who require affordable, high quality healthcare.”

In his remarks, Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos commended the management of the hospital for their collaboration with residents of the city.

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