Reps move to stop medical tourism

The House of Representatives Committee on Health has revealed plans to reverse medical tourism by revamping Nigeria’s healthcare system.

The chairman of the committee, Dr. Amos Magaji, lamented that the country’s health system was in a precarious situation.

Magaji, however, noted that the lawmakers in collaboration with other stakeholders would do everything to stop the surging migration of health workers abroad.

He said this on Tuesday, during the committee oversight visit to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos State.

The health committee chairman expressed concern that the migration of Nigerian health workers abroad was taking a toll on the health care system of the country.

He stressed that it was important to stop the ‘japa’ syndrome by building state-of-the-art infrastructure and making the sector attractive and rewarding to workers irrespective of their fields.

“Nigeria as a nation has found itself in a precarious moment especially in the healthcare system where japa has taken centre stage. We used to have japa only for nurses, doctors, but now it has even gone to many departments in the health sector.

“It is unfortunate but we may not be able to stop everybody from going, but we will do all it takes to attract people to stay.

“We must work together to ensure that our healthcare system is revamped. In these four years, we would work together to make sure that we reverse medical tourism.

“We want to ensure that we use the economic situation to leverage on that to build the confidence of our people in our health care system.

“No matter how rich you are, there are some medical emergencies that you still need to access here.

“We need to do a lot to stop that japa and we can’t stop it until we build infrastructure. Until we make sure that the practice of medicine is attractive, rewarding and protected.

“This assembly by the grace of God and with the support of every stakeholder, wants to see that Nigeria is placed among the best countries for medical tourism.

“Everyday, hundreds of Nigerians are traveling to Egypt for medical tourism. We have the population and it is our money that is being spent abroad for medical tourism. We can attract that money here and build institutions. It is achievable,” he concluded.

In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Professor Wasiu Adeyemo, said there is a need for the government to tackle the ‘japa syndrome’ which has taken a toll on the healthcare system.

The CMD commended the government for supporting the institution in providing healthcare to the people.

Adeyemo added that no fewer than 9,000 patients have been treated in the cancer centre commissioned by former president Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

He, however, reiterated the commitment of the hospital in providing health care to the people.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *