Published on : Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Although Nigerians embarking on medical tours abroad remained a topic of discussion for years, high profile Nigerians and government officials seeking medical care abroad remains a major issue. Statistics show that Nigerians spend over $1,000,000,000 on medical tourism annually.
Records show that at least 50 per cent of Nigerian patients travelling abroad are headed for destinations in Europe, Asia, America and other parts of the world. Hence, medical tourism is digging big holes in the pockets of Nigerians and economy, rising concerns in several circles. Medical tourism is a rising phenomenon in the healthcare industry. Medical tourism is the act of travelling to obtain medical care and in the process, patients are exposed to greater financial burdens.
Hospitals in Nigeria like the Ibom Hospital were set up for facilitating treatment of Nigerians who are visiting abroad for medical treatments. It was established to shorten travel time for patients going abroad. People often die while being airlifted abroad for treatment. It was also to generate revenue from health tourism. Everything from entrance to reception to modern facilities is eye-catching. The doctors, nurses and technicians are committed to provide the highest quality of care. However, these objectives are yet to be achieved as the hospital is currently underutilised.
Awareness about the facility across the country could be better even as Nigerians continue to travel abroad even for ailments treatable in the hospital at affordable costs within the shortest period.