How Nigeria Can End Medical Tourism – Expert

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Dr Adebayo Adekunle, the Medical Director of General Hospital, Suleja, has solicited purposeful public-private partnerships in the health sector to check rampant medical tourism tendency among Nigerians.

He said this when he spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.

Adekunle said that Nigerians often sought medical treatment abroad because they felt there were no required medical facilities in the country for the desired specialised treatment in the health system.

Insisting that cases of medical tourism were on the increase, he pleaded with the wealthy Nigerians to assist in promoting good medical services by donating generously to hospitals across the country.

“Health service is not supposed to be the sole responsibility of the government. Concerned Nigerians should contribute to the health sector by sponsoring research, donating buildings or medical equipment.

“General Hospital, Suleja is a 145-bed secondary health institution but it ought to be more than that by its conception and design.

“It has basic health facilities such as Surgery, Ante Natal, Out Patient Department, Emergency ward and Paediatrics, among others.

“When I came on board you can say this is not a hospital because of its dilapidated and decaying structures; the environment is not well kept, in term of beds, wards and equipment.

“I ensure that the hospital environment is clean and I know that people really appreciate this gesture by being part of the sanitation team that evacuates dirt in the hospital’s premises to give it a befitting look,” he said.

Adekunle said this innovation notwithstanding, the hospital and other health facilities across the country needed more infrastructures to convince Nigerians seeking medical treatment abroad that they could get it cheaper in the country.

He said that his hospital was adjudged the best secondary health institution in the northern part of the country.

The medical director recalled that in recognition of this, the Nigerian Alliance for Health System Strengthening, in collaboration with University of Maryland, Baltimore County, U.S., recently invited him to speak on the role of management in clinical governance.

“I received a letter to talk on the topic to tell the world how we have been managing clinical matters and achieving success.

“What General Hospital, Suleja needs is just the support of the public in terms of advice, contributions and funds to render world class medical service to discourage medical tourism,” he said.(NAN)


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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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