The Convener of All Africa Medical and Wellness Expo, Dr. Usman Isah, on Monday, urged the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for businesses in the health sector to thrive.
He said this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, noting that an enabling environment was a key factor needed for domestic medical tourism to thrive in Nigeria.
According to him, it is time the Federal Government begins to view the health sector from the perspective of a profit-making business.
“It is imperative that the Federal Government intensify efforts to provide the enabling environment to foster investor’s confidence in the health sector, and the Nigerian economy at large.
“Medical tourism is the act of travelling from one location to another in search of quality medical treatment, which does not necessarily entail travelling abroad.
“A thriving business-oriented health sector will go a long way in fostering healthy competition and in turn enhance the growth and development of medical tourism in the country.
‘’Nigeria is doing a lot of 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,” he said.
The AMWE convener described medical tourism as an aspect of the economy that could drive healthcare development in Nigeria.
He said it was regrettable that the health system lacked trust, and that medical tourism remained a viable means to restore faith in the sector.
Isah stressed the need to restore investor’s confidence in the economy, noting that with an enabling environment, local and international investors would explore the potential of medical tourism.
“If we must get it right in Nigeria, we must upgrade the standard of care in our hospitals to be able to woo tourists to the country. Medical tourism is now the order of the day,’’ he said.
Isah added that Nigeria would only get it right in developing sustainable domestic medical tourism when it creates an enabling environment to attract investors.