The blame for medical tourism has been laid at the doorsteps of government due to non-provision of enabling environment for medical practitioners to effectively practise their trade.
A Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and the chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the college’s Annual Scientific Conference and All Fellows’ Congress (ASCAF) 2016, Professor Ayodele Arowojolu, said this while answering questions from newsmen after a press briefing at the University College Hospital (UCH) ,ahead of the conference holding next week. “There are trained doctors that can handle any form of ailment and disease in the country .There is no enabling environment occasioned by poor facilities, strike among the various groups of health personnel and non-concentration of facilities in the hospitals” he said
All these, he said, eroded the confidence of the citizenry in the ability of medical personnel in the country to handle medical challenges, hence, the jetting out of privileged Nigerians for medical trip abroad, not even minding the seriousness of the ailment.
He counselled government to harmonise the system to ensure good working relationship among the various groups of health workers.
He also charged government to establish good training centres in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country where there would not be any disease that could not be handled in terms of personnel and equipment,
Professor Arowojolu, who said that it is worthless having so many hospitals without equipment and manpower, also charged government to stop the sponsorship of officials on medical treatment aboard unless at a very critical situation
Speaking on “Health care financing for sustainable development, the LOC chairman, described it as very relevant in view of the global economic recession worldwide, especially, in Nigeria and most African countries.
“Government and institutions need to adopt alternative means of financing health care delivery sevices in order to ensure improvements in the quality of life of the populace”.
He listed the alternatives that could be explored to include the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), assistance of donor agencies in fortifying medical institutions, individuals through philanthropy activities, insurance and other companies.