Reverse Medical Tourism and Brain Drain in Nigeria


For decades, the Nigerian health sector has faced many challenges ranging from poor health facilities, brain drain, frequent strikes by health workers to insufficient health financing.

This has led many Nigerians to travel abroad for treatment. For example, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that Nigerians spend between $1.2 billion and $1.6 billion on medical tourism, adding that this is a huge drain on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Added to this is the huge brain drain that is shaking the health sector, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fellow of the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), Dr. Abayomi Ajayi tells LEADERSHIP that the near total collapse of the health sector is imminent in the face of the need for health professionals worldwide at the following the COVID -19 pandemic.

Ajayi said nations around the world have been affected by the pandemic, adding that Nigeria and a few other countries are providing the manpower needed to keep their people alive at the expense of our own citizens.

When asked why they were leaving in troops, Ajayi replied, “Many of them want a better life for themselves; Better wages and allowances

Better research opportunities; Better career advancement opportunities and adoption of modern techniques and technologies; Opportunities for family relocation to greener pastures; Live a better life; No power outages, better transportation, reduced incidence of crime, kidnappings, attacks by shepherds, the list is endless.“

As part of efforts to reverse medical tourism and brain drain in the health sector, Lai Mohammed, said the federal government is revamping the sector, to make it attractive to health professionals in Nigeria and around the world. the stranger.

Mohammed recalled that in the wake of COVID-19, the CBN established the N100 billion Health Sector Response Fund, now expanded to N200 billion, to provide credit support for the health sector through long-term, low-cost financing.

“You are also aware of the federal government’s intervention in the health sector through the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). The NSIA has invested a total of $22.5 million in two diagnostic centers in Kano and Umuahia ($5.5 million each) and the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Center in Lagos ($11.5 million). The NSIA has also committed to build a new quaternary hospital in Abuja,” a- he added.

The essence of these financial interventions and projects in the critical healthcare sector is to accelerate the evolution of world-class healthcare facilities like this Duchess International Hospital, the Minister said, adding that “With this, we can conserve our foreign exchange reserves, earn foreign exchange for the country, create jobs, reverse the brain drain, become a destination for medical tourists and also ensure affordable and standard healthcare for Nigerians.

In order to retain doctors, the Minister said that Nigerian health facilities must be equipped on a global level and that doctors and other health care workers must be properly compensated, adding that institutions like Duchess International are real tools for creating jobs, in addition to attracting doctors. tourists from all over the world.

Mohammed, however, commended the hospital for establishing such a world-class healthcare facility in Nigeria, noting that “with what we have seen today and the program that has just been launched, Nigerians can now have access to affordable and quality health care in any field of medicine by getting a card for N5000 and consultation fees to see an expert from N5000”.

The Minister said that with this user-friendly fee structure, Duchess Hospital has expanded the population of Nigerians who can access quality health care, while rejoicing that many doctors at Duchess Hospital, a subsidiary of the Reddington Hospital Group, are Nigerians who had trained and worked abroad but decided to return home to practice due to the availability of advanced medical facilities and a good working environment.

Along the same lines, the Chief Executive of Duchess International Hospital, Dr Adetokunbo Shitta-Bey, said that with as little as registering N5000 to get a family card and seeing renowned consultants at Starting at N5000, the management of Duchess Hospital makes a bold statement that the 100-bed, purpose-built, state-of-the-art hospital is not just for the elites.

Shitta-Bey, said the Access to Affordable World-Class Healthcare program was designed to “provide access to the hospital’s wide range of high-quality services in emergency medicine and intensive care, women’s health and pediatric care, cardiovascular medicine, renal dialysis, endoscopy, medical and surgical treatment interventions, dental treatments, eye care services and a wide variety of additional services and sub-specialties, all available at one place in the heart of Ikeja”.


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