Nigeria Loses Over $1billion Annually to Medical Tourism

Dr. Olatunde Lalude, the Group Medical Director of the Reddington Hospital Group, has said that Nigeria loses over $1billion yearly to medical tourism, as a result of the country’s poor healthcare system. He made this known last week at the inauguration of Nigeria’s first state-of-the-art integrated surgical and intensive care facility, the Davidson Specialist Surgery and Critical Care Centre at the Reddington Hospital, Victoria Island, Lagos.

According to him, medical tourism is one of the biggest thriving industry due to the low confidence in the country’s healthcare system.

He noted that the confidence in Nigeria’s healthcare system is very low because there are many serious shortcomings in the system, which is brought down by a plethora of problems; and as a consequence, confidence in the system is extremely low among Nigerians.

He said, “The health service has earned the ignominious distinction of ranking 187 out of 190 countries in the world by the World Health Organization (WHO). This is a testament to the dire situation within the system. As a result of this, medical tourism in Nigeria is a thriving industry, leading to a loss of at least $1 billion a year. This figure is a conservative estimate because the figure is way, way above that.”

Lalude said the healthcare system in the country is undergoing a seismic change with regards to health issues, which face Nigerians, adding that there has been increased in cases of cancer, diabetics, and issues associated with aging. He said the capacity of the country to provide the facilities to handle these situations inadequate, hence the decision of Reddington Hospital Group to provide the facilities in the country.

Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of the Reddington Hospital Group, Dr. Adeyemi Onabowale, said the Davidson Specialist Surgery Centre’s theatres are equipped with sophisticated world-class technologies and manned by a team of well qualified and experienced surgeons and intensive care specialists who are trained in the United Kingdom where most of the equipment was procured.

Also speaking, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Laure Beaufils, lamented that despite the fact that Nigeria’s medical professionals are highly regarded, access to good medical care has been poor. She said there are challenges in the healthcare system as the country is ranked at the bottom of the league of the countries with the poor healthcare system.

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