Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has passionately urged fellow compatriots residing outside the borders of Nigeria to lend their support in showcasing Nigeria as an attractive hub for medical tourism. She mentioned this at a gala dinner hosted in the United Kingdom, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Nigerian Nurses Charitable Association, an organization catering to the needs of Nigeria’s expatriate community. In an official statement, NIDCOM’s representative, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, conveyed the appreciation of Dabiri-Erewa towards the nurses and midwives for their altruistic efforts, while also encouraging them to remain steadfast in their duties.
She conveyed a strong belief in the potential of Nigerian healthcare professionals residing overseas to collaborate with their counterparts in Nigeria in order to revolutionize the country’s healthcare sector and make it a sought-after hub for medical tourism. Additionally, she highlighted President Bola Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to improving healthcare infrastructure and initiatives in Nigeria. Dabiri-Erewa called for intensified collaborations aimed at fostering knowledge exchange, telemedicine endeavors, and skill transfer programs. Wendy Olayiwola, Head of the Nigerian Nurses Charitable Association, said the association is dedicated to providing valuable skills through collaboration with healthcare establishments across the country.
Dedication to combat brain drain in the healthcare sector is shown.
Nigeria reportedly boasts a multitude of highly skilled and qualified healthcare professionals, with a substantial number being trained at prestigious institutions worldwide, guaranteeing unparalleled medical care for those seeking treatment within the nation. The country stands tall with its cutting-edge healthcare infrastructure, which stand out as some of Africa’s most advanced. These state-of-the-art medical centers provide a wide range of surgical procedures and treatments, attracting medical tourists who seek specialized care such as cardiovascular surgery, cancer treatment, and organ transplants.
During a previous occasion, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the former Minister of Information and Culture, expressed belief that Nigeria had undertaken measures to cultivate a flourishing medical tourism industry. He said the country is dedicated to combating brain drain in the healthcare sector by establishing state-of-the-art healthcare infrastructure. This infrastructure would not just decrease the necessity for Nigerians to seek healthcare overseas, but also uphold foreign currency reserves and foster job creation. Alhaji Mohammed expressed his worry regarding the clear statistics illustrating that Nigerians spend an annual sum ranging from $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion on medical trips abroad.
Clinical tourism expansion paves way for enhanced systems.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves were significantly strained by this expense, he said. Nigeria’s healthcare system and infrastructure have consistently received poor ratings in comparison to its sizable economy and abundant resources. The insufficient healthcare system in Nigeria tends to be overlooked as a result of the medical tourism favored by the political elite of the country. Experts warned that the government needs to actively tackle the medical, legal, and social concerns linked with clinical tourism. Also, it is important for the government to recognize the financial strain faced by individuals who are unable to receive medical treatment in their own country.
It is crucial to note that medical tourism has the capacity to positively impact the Nigerian economy by generating foreign exchange revenue, fostering job opportunities, and enhancing healthcare investments. Clinical tourism’s expansion paves the way for enhanced healthcare systems and better patient care, benefiting those from both domestic and foreign origins. Additionally, this growth fosters the transfer of valuable medical knowledge and practices, allowing Nigerian healthcare professionals to collaborate with their international peers and ultimately improve health outcomes.
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Mohammed’s observation lies in Nigeria’s readiness to embrace medical tourism in today’s era, driven by progressions in clinical technology, disparities in healthcare regulations, economic imbalances on a global scale, and the force of globalization. In order to enhance this potential, he stressed the significance of retaining immigrant health professionals within Nigeria, as well as ensuring that the country’s healthcare facilities and personnel align with international standards. Furthermore, he called for fair remuneration and highlighted the invaluable contribution of organizations such as Duchess Worldwide in fostering employment prospects and enticing medical tourists.