‘Hospitals exhibition to reduce overseas medical trips’



As part of efforts to discourage overseas medical trips or rather medical tourism and save billions of naira lost in the process, Nigeria is set to showcase hospitals in the country with facilities and personnel that compares favourably with what obtains abroad.

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in collaboration with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), James Daniel Consulting, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Guild of Medical Directors and other stakeholders in the health sector are set to host the second Nigeria Hospitals Exhibition and Fair 2015 on October 20 to 22 at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island Annex, Lagos.

Indeed, in recent times Asia, Europe and North America has become a destination of Choice for Nigerians seeking advanced and affordable medical services, a study conducted has shown that Nigerians travel abroad all the time for medical treatments and medical check up, reasons being that it is perceived that there are no competent medical facilities and competent medical personnel in Nigeria and if these facilities and personnel exist, people do not know where to find them or how to access them. It is estimated that Nigeria looses over $500 million annually.

The group said they are therefore proposing a Hospital fair and Exhibition to showcase the services available and obtainable in Nigeria.

A concept note on the event noted: “This has been put together to kick start an exhibitions and a fair of hospitals, medical laboratories, pharmaceuticals in both private and government sectors in Nigeria and business training conference for professionals in healthcare, with the purpose of staging a Nigeria Hospitals Exhibition and Fair in October of 2015.

“This exhibition is a follow up to the first Nigerian Hospital Exhibition 2014 in Abuja. It will enable all major public and private hospitals in Nigeria to present to the general public the available facilities and their specialties and the capabilities of the personnel within Nigeria. The idea is to communicate to the public that we actually have a lot of healthcare facilities that equals some of the best in most other countries that they go to for medical care .It is also important to inform the general public that so many of our Nigerian doctors that emigrated abroad are Nigerian bound and are establishing advanced medical care centres in most states of Nigeria.”

According to the Concept Note, the Fair also intends to improve the medical tourism in Nigeria and hopefully bring in other African countries to Nigeria for medical treatments and check up and also get Nigerians to do their medicals as much as possible in Nigeria, therefore, boosting the medical sector.

It added: “This will save travel cost and visa time. This is also especially good in case of emergency or when a patient is critically ill and needs urgent professional medical care. This will go a long way in catering for the low income and poor citizens.

“The business conference will run a master class for senior healthcare executives on the financial aspect of healthcare business. Equip them with knowledge of money making in medical business.”

The mission statement, according to the Concept Note is to promote Nigeria as a preferred destination for patients and a hub for regional medical tourists seeking high quality and cost effective procedures and treatments.

Master Classes in clinical governance; nursing care; inter-professional relationship; patient first; access to finance /template for group practice are intended to discuss topical issues among the various professional groups in Healthcare and chart a new way forward.

Among the people and organisations expected to exhibit include: University Teaching Hospital; Federal Medical centres; State Ministry of Health/Federal Capital Territory (FCT) hospitals; private hospital across the country; pharmaceutical companies; Health Maintenance Organisations (HMO’s); and healthcare service providers.

Other partners to the Exhibition are: Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria; Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria; Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria; Nigerian Laboratory Association; Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria; Nursing and Midwifery Association of Nigeria; National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); financial institutions; telecommunication companies; media; Health Federation of Nigeria; and Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria.

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