President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina said a new teaching hospital built by Ebonyi Governor Dave Umahi in his village of Uburu would slow medical tourism by wealthy Nigerians, including its director.
Mr Femi, made this allusion in an article published on his Facebook page Thursday, while congratulating Mr. Umahi on building a world-class medical center in Ebonyi.
“We have always called for world-class medical institutions in the country, so that Nigerians do not spend so much on medical tourism,” Mr. Adesina said. “Well, here’s one. At King David University, there is a 500-bed teaching hospital, which would rival the best in the advanced countries of the world.
Mr. Umahi had established the King David University of Medical Sciences in his hometown of Uburu, in the local government area of Ohaozara. The university was accredited to start teaching 17 medicine-related courses in July 2021. The institution was handed over to the Nigerian Catholic Bishops’ Conference to manage.
Nigerian elites have long been criticized for spending significant resources on medical tourism abroad. President Buhari, for example, has frequented London for his medical care since taking office in 2015. He has been on a medical tour for a cumulative period of around 200 days over the past six years.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), reported that Nigeria loses about 576 billion naira ($ 1.2 billion) to medical tourism each year.
In October, the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, said when the Duchess Ikeja International Hospital in Lagos, a private 100-suit health facility, went into operation that “medical tourism is putting enormous pressure on us. of our foreign reserves, and more importantly, for every billion dollars spent on medical treatment overseas, there is less than $ 1 billion that could be available for other critical sectors of our economy.
Due to years of neglect by successive governments, Nigeria’s health sector has been hampered by poor infrastructure and a brain drain, with health workers leaving the country in droves for greener pastures.