The Federal Government has said it is coming up with affordable world-class health facilities to end medical tourism and brain drain in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Nigeria would soon put an end to the over N500 billion being spent on medical tourism annually.
The minister said this on Tuesday in Lagos at a media tour of Duchess International Hospital.
He said the country would soon welcome foreign patients and medical personnel on its shores rather than having its citizens travel yearly and spending more than N500bn for medical tourism.
“We as a country will also conserve our foreign reserves while earning foreign exchange, we will begin to reverse the brain drain in the health sector; create jobs and provide affordable and standard healthcare for our people. Of course, facilities like Duchess International are veritable tools for job creation, in addition to attracting medical tourists from across the world.
“It’s a new dawn for the health sector and we are proud of what Duchess and other healthcare facilities are doing in bringing about this new dawn,’’ the minister said.
Mohammed noted that although the facility was private-sector driven, the Federal Government provided the enabling environment and funding for its realisation.
He recalled that in the wake of COVID-19, the CBN set up the N100 billion Healthcare Sector Intervention Fund, which was later expanded to N200 billion.
He said the intervention fund was to provide credit support for the healthcare sector through long-term, low-cost financing.
The Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Dr. Tokunbo Shitta-bey, said the facility was aimed at delivering the highest standard of healthcare to Nigerians.
He said the hospital would use the most advanced technology, personnel and treatments to provide Nigerians with the best medical expertise available anywhere in the world.
Shitta-bey added that the guiding philosophy of the health facility was to cut down medical tourism in an affordable manner with the same equipment and personnel found in the most advanced parts of the world.
According to him, the facility is available for community service, for patients in all strata of the society, offering a wide range of specialised services and treatment.