Olororunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for health, says President Buhari has resolved to curb medical tourism.
Mamora spoke on Monday in Abuja when a team from CPL Medical Group Limited, a local engineering company engaged in the rehabilitation of teaching hospitals in the country, paid him a visit.
In 2017, Buhari spent about three months in London on medical vacation. And he has made frequent trips to the UK on ”private visits” believed to be for medical reasons In August, the president said the country loses about N400 billion to medical tourism annually.
The minister said hospital environment and bad attitude of workers are largely responsible for medical tourism in the country.
“President Mohammadu Buhari has resolved to curb medical tourism by supporting initiatives from individuals and groups. We are focused on improving working conditions in the hospitals because medical tourism is not necessarily an outcome of lack of medical equipment.
It encompasses factors like lack of conducive hospital environment and poor attitude of health workers towards health care delivery” Mamora said.
He assured Nigerians that the federal government was working towards entrenching the right standards in terms of attitudinal change and procurement of equipment. He said the responsibility of the health ministry is to formulate government policies on health while implementation involved relevant stakeholders, so that the sector could move to the next level.
He expressed delight at the progress reported by the team in the implementation of the various stages of engagement with the presidency, adding that government is partnering the Infrastructure Regulatory Commission to ensure best practices in healthcare delivery. Earlier, Albert Awofisayo, chairman of CPL, gave an update on the status of the third phase of the federal government and the group’s partnership on the special presidential intervention project to advance the tertiary health sector in the country.
The chairman solicited government’s support towards the successful implementation of the rehabilitation of the 22 federal university teaching hospitals. He said the group also planned to construct a green-field 500-bed ‘Federal Centre of Medical Excellence’ in Abuja with the collaboration of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA.
“We are partnering with major hospitals across five continents for the health outfit which will be called Mayo clinics,” he said. He appealed that the project be considered as strategic by the administration of the president. He pledged that the standard of services to be provided by the proposed 500-bed centre would be of “best global standard”.