Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Hospital built by Gov. Umahi will reduce medical tourism by Buhari, other Nigerians: Femi Adesina

Nigerian health sector has been bedevilled by poor infrastructure, and brain drain with healthcare practitioners leaving the country in droves for greener pastures.

• December 30, 2021
Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina and Dave Umahi

Spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina has said a new teaching hospital built by Ebonyi Governor Dave Umahi in his Uburu village would ebb medical tourism by affluent Nigerians including his principal.

Mr Femi,  made this allusion in an article published on his Facebook page on Thursday, while lauding Mr Umahi for building a world class medical center in Ebonyi.

“We have always demanded for world class medical institutions in the country, so that Nigerians do not spend so much on medical tourism,” Mr Adesina said. “Well, here comes one. In the King David University, there’s a 500-bed teaching hospital, which would compete with the very best in advanced countries of the world.” 

Mr Umahi had established the King David University of Medical Sciences in his native Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area. The university was accredited to commence teaching of 17 medical related courses in July 2021. The institution has been handed over to the Catholics Bishop Conference of Nigeria to manage.

Nigerian elites have long been criticised for expending large resources on medical tourism abroad. President Buhari, has for example, frequented London for his medical attention since he assumed office in 2015. He has been on medical tour for a cumulative period of about 200 days in the last six years. 

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD),  reported that Nigeria loses about N576 billion ($1.2 billion) to medical tourism annually.

In October, Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said at the commissioning of Duchess International Hospital Ikeja, Lagos, a privately-owned 100-suit health facility, that “Medical tourism puts a huge strain on our foreign reserves, and more importantly, for every $1bn allocated to medical treatment abroad, there is less than $1bn that could be available to other critical sectors of our economy.” 

Due to years of neglect by successive governments, the Nigerian health sector has been bedevilled by poor infrastructure, and brain drain with healthcare practitioners leaving the country  in droves for greener pastures.

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