Nigerian Doctors Chart New Cause against Medical Tourism

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Martins Ifijeh
Addressing the fallout of medical tourism in Nigeria, medical practitioners under the aegis of Doctor’s Forum said lack of world standard medical facilities, lack of trust and low political will has forced Nigerians to seek medical care abroad.

Speaking during the forum, the Chairman of the occasion Dr. Oluyomi Finnih said there exist qualified Nigerian doctors who can do exactly or even more than what foreign doctors do, adding that what was lacking was technical assistance.

Interventional Cardiologist and Medical Director, First Cardiology Consultant, Dr. Yemi Johnson said with the level of healthcare system in the country, it was obvious the government was not living up to expectations, adding that private investors are already coming to the rescue.

Johnson lamented that even government bureaucracy was not helping matters as well. “I came back to Nigeria because people do come abroad to see mediocre doctors and treat issues that can easily be done here, like routine health check, hypertension, stroke and Angina. It is not that our doctors are not brilliant. The system has completely broken down. You cannot claim you are a radiologist and you do not have Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computerised Tomography (CT) scan, cardiology surgery in your hospital, we are just fooling ourselves. The infrastructure is not there. We should not always blame the government, we the doctors should also take up the mantle,” he said.

Consultant Nephrologists and Clinical Director, St. Nicholas Hospital, Dr. Ebun Bamgboye said the issue of medical tourism was because of lack of trust in Nigeria healthcare system. Bamgboye said the challenges were the issue of manpower, literacy, poverty and peculiarities of infections, cancers and late presentation to the hospital. He said the hospital has recorded a great feat in the area of renal transplant with about 700,000 people living with transplant globally.