‘Investment in Health Sector will Reposition Edo as Medical Tourism Destination’

Godwin Obaseki

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured that the renewed investment in the state’s healthcare system in collaboration with the private sector will make the state the preferred destination for medical tourism.

Obaseki said this at the official commissioning of Benin Medical Care (BMC) Hospital and Diagnostic Center in Benin City recently.

He said in most parts of the world, the bulk of medical providers were from the private sectors, adding, “while the government focuses on policies and primary healthcare delivery system, the private sector comes up with the investment in specialised areas of healthcare provision”.

The governor said BMC will validate the effort the Obaseki-led administration has made in the health sector, noting that while his government launched the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme (Edo-HIP), the federal government unveiled the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) to facilitate healthcare delivery to the people.

He said, “An average of 20,000 Nigerians travel abroad every year for medical assistance and the money spent runs into millions of dollars. It is possible for us in Nigeria to get the same quality of care that these people are traveling to other parts of the world to receive.

“It is said that 77 per cent of black doctors in the US are Nigerians and they have achieved greater feats in a foreign land. We expect them to return to the country. This has necessitated the huge investment in the health sector, showing our seriousness to resolve the healthcare challenges in the nation.

“The medical profession in Nigeria has been hit by brain drain because a lot of our very qualified personnel don’t have facilities to work, so they travel to fulfil their medical dreams abroad.”