Experts Task FG to Improve Health Facilities to Discourage Medical Tourism

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Two medical consultants, Dr Amaechi Obiora and Dr Sonny Kuku, on Thursday in Lagos urged the Federal Government to provide modern facilities in the nation’s health system to discourage people from going abroad for medical treatment.

Speaking at a news conference, called to announce the appointment of Dr Olusegun Odukoya as the new Chief Medical Director of Eko Hospitals, the medical consultants identified inadequate funding as a major impediment militating against the delivery of quality healthcare in the country.

Dr Amaechi Obiora, Chairman, Eko Hospitals, noted that Nigerians embarked on medical tourism overseas because people had lost faith in the Nigerian health system.

According to him, many people travelled abroad to treat illnesses which can be treated locally at a lesser cost.

Given the right facilities and manpower in the nation’s health system, Obiora said people would not have to go abroad to die with the additional cost of bringing their corpses home.

Also speaking at the briefing, Dr Sonny Kuku, an endocrinologist and co-Founder of Eko Hospitals, urged the government to put in place a funding mechanism for the treatment of common degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and respiratory ailments.

Kuku stated that the level of healthcare was high in developed countries because there was a third party payment in which the insurance scheme covered the cost of the treatment.

“In developed countries, health insurance scheme covers cost of treatment while in Nigeria, people have to beg, borrow or steal to be able to afford payment.

“For instance, a kidney patient would have to spend at least N60,000 for three courses of dialysis per week which only the elites can afford and those who cannot afford this give up and die in the process.

“If a funding mechanism is put in place, this will not be the case,” he said.

He urged government to prioritise policies which would benefit the healthcare delivery system in the country.

NAN

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In : Health