Minister decries rising forex loss to medical tourism
*As LUTH honours healthcare workers, contributors
The Minster of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has called on Nigerians to rebuild their confidence in the country’s healthcare sector and its professionals.
The Minister, who decried the foreign exchange lost to medical tourism, stressed that Nigeria loses over $2 billion yearly, which is a big burden to the country that has affected the health sector, despite the capacity.
He said lack of confidence in local expatriate have seen many Nigerians fly abroad for treatment, thereby contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDPs) of the countries they visit for treatment. Adewole who was represented by the Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, stated this at the maiden edition of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Amity Awards in Lagos at the weekend. He said the government was worried on how to contain the forex drains, through the expansion of the Primary Health Centres, as well as getting more investment in equipment and capacity building.
Adewole, who commended the healthcare professionals in the country for their skills and successes recorded in surgeries and other medical treatment, said it was high time the government rebuild the confidence of people in the country’s health system as there are success stories that have emanated from the tertiary healthcare institutions, calling on the need for an upgrade in the health facilities.
“There are individuals who have reached greater heights in their medical profession, we have had success stories in our medical facilities. We want people to see Nigeria as a medical tourist country where they will visit for quality healthcare delivery at an affordable rate,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the Mister of Health who lauded the LUTH Amity awards, for recognizing healthcare workers in the tertiary health institution and corporate organisation’s contributions to the hospital, called for more investment in healthcare facilities for quality delivery and services.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode said the award was to honour the hospital’s medical team that have contributed to the success stories in the hospital, adding that it is a platform to make difference for the benefit of the society, just as it celebrates good leadership and exemplary character to revamp the health sector.
“LUTH touches lives, we cannot quantify the joy or reprieve enjoyed by patients who access care in our community of practice, or the relief of their loved ones. Over 8000 patients access care and treatment regularly at our Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) clinic alone, we aspire to make a difference and to indoctrinate global best practices in the work we do,” he added.
Speaking further on the Amity Awards, the convener, Solomon Alao said it was a platform to inspire and assist efforts for improvement in healthcare delivery nationwide, as LUTH management, in a bid to revamp its facility through donations, endowment and projects of programmes took a proactive step to approach corporate Nigeria and HNI’s, urging the government to create an enabling environment for the country’s healthcare professionals to thrive.
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