The domestic medical tourism expert and Convener of the All Africa Medical and Wellness Expo 2023, Usman Isah, has urged the federal government to key into domestic medical tourism, which he described as an aspect of the economy that can help drive healthcare development in Nigeria.
He added that if the private sector can see the medical sector as one with opportunities for investment, it would go a long way in enhancing the development in healthcare as well as domestic tourism in Nigeria.
He made the call during a media chat with journalists in the health and tourism sector. Isah called on the government to create the enabling environment for businesses in the health sector in order for it to thrive.
According to him, “A thriving business health sector will go a long way in fostering healthy completion in the sector and in turn enhance the growth and development of medical tourism in the country.
‘’Nigeria is doing a lot wrong in the drive to get Medical Tourism right. A strong policy on Domestic Tourism and incentive for quality patient management will go a long way for the sector.’’
Speaking on the wellness expo, he said he said the theme of the event, ‘Developing Sustainable Domestic Medical Tourism for Nigeria’s Health Sector’, transcended mere words.
He therefore, urged stakeholders in the country’s health and medical sectors to take advantage of the immense opportunities that comes with the ‘All Africa Medical and Wellness Expo 2023’, set to drive growth and development within both sectors.
Isah disclosed that the expo scheduled to hold on October 4 and 5, 2023, in Abuja, is poised to make a lasting impact on the trajectory of healthcare and wellness in Nigeria and the African continent.
He said: “It is a comprehensive roadmap toward the development of domestic medical tourism in Nigeria to catalyse the growth and excellence of the healthcare sector.”
Isah, who noted that the Minister of Health is also expected to grace the expo, described Nigeria as a hub for medical tourists, where world-class facilities in cities such as Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and across the country beckon on visitors seeking top-notch healthcare.
“This vision extends to a healthcare system that shines as a beacon of excellence and a society where wellness is deeply ingrained,’’ he added.
The travel consultant and medical tourism specialist based in Abuja emphasised that Nigeria’s abundant blessings, particularly its wealth of highly skilled medical professionals, are invaluable assets to the country, “and their talents should not be at risk of the ‘Japa syndrome’-an exodus of talent seeking opportunities abroad.
He said: ‘’A thriving healthcare sector that draws not only local citizens but also international tourists can serve as a stronghold for retaining our medical experts as it offers visitors the opportunity to experience our medical expertise while exploring the diverse attractions found in the regions where these exceptional healthcare facilities are located.”
The expo, he said, is set to host a remarkable lineup of speakers, including luminaries such as Dr. Adeyemi Johnson, a renowned Nigerian cardiologist; keynote speaker, Dr. Zainab Suleiman; Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, and a host of others within and outside Nigeria.
These experts, according to him, “will illuminate the path toward innovative solutions and transformative practices through with their wealth of knowledge and experience,
“In addition to the enlightening discussions and collaborations, the Expo will feature special Awards for Excellence night. This event will celebrate the outstanding individuals who have left an indelible mark in both the healthcare and tourism sectors, serving as inspirations to all.
“The All Africa Medical and Wellness Expo 2023 promises to be a landmark event, where stakeholders, experts, and visionaries come together to shape the future of healthcare, medical tourism, and wellness in Nigeria and beyond.”
Isah, who is also the CEO of Emblem Travels and Tours Limited and Africa Health and Fitness Magazine, noted that the expo is a premier event dedicated to advancing healthcare and wellness in Nigeria and across the African continent.
“It provides a platform for healthcare professionals, policymakers, and industry leaders to collaborate, share knowledge, and explore innovative solutions to healthcare challenges,” he stated.