Experts advocate increased investments in Nigerian hospitals to reduce medical tourism
Medical experts have called on the federal government to increase investments in Nigerian hospitals so as to reduce medical tourism.
The Vice Chairman of Garki General Hospital and NHSA Premier hospital, Dr. Ibrahim Wada who made the call at the weekend in Abuja during a life streaming of Open Heart Surgery said Nigeria has well trained experts to break the bounds of medical practice, but what is lacking is the finance.
Disclosing that Garki General Hospital has successfully carried out 50 open heart surgeries since the programme commenced four years ago, Wada said the hospital has been combining efforts from Nigerians, and also that of Nigerians in Diaspora to break the bounds of medical science.
He said: “We have been running this programme with little or no support and we have found out that its not sustainable. This programme could have cost N4million but we reduce it to N2.5million so as to accommodate as many patients as possible. The cost is actually due to the high cost of the consumables, most of the drugs are imported, and we don’t want to compromise the health of our patients we want them to get the best.”
Wada, however, called on well meaning Nigerians, foundations, Federal Government to scale up investment in the health sector, and divert some of the money used for medical tourism to Nigerian hospitals, saying it would go a long way in improving lives.
A missionary doctor, who is the Chief Perfusion Specialist in Las Vegas, United States, Dr. Ikenna Okoro, wondered why Nigerians believe in foreign doctors than their Nigerian counterparts, maintaining that foreign doctors are not better than Nigerians but the missing link is that people abroad believe more in what they have.
He said: “These doctors does not have two heads than Nigerians, Nigerian doctors are far better than most of them. And that is why when people abroad for treatment they still meet people like us. I do an average of 36 heart surgeris in a month, when I talk in Las Vegas people listen, but it is not so in Nigeria, but whenever I am called upon to do something I am usually eager to come.”
Stressing the need to improve on some of the facilities in Nigerian hospitals, he said: “In Nigeria people die like rat for an ailment that could have been easily addressed if the proper equipment and facilities are on ground. Nigerians should learn to invest some of this money in their hospital where they can have all the health care needed.”
Chief Surgeon Garki Hospital, Dr. Elijah Miner, disclosed that the hospital is currently running kidney transplants, open heart surgeries, including In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) programme but the project was no longer sustainable because of lack of finance and time.
The parent of one of the patients who had the surgery described the operation as a good one, stressing the need for government to enable young doctors to be tutored by some the experts who come from overseas, so that they would always be on ground to attend to patient.