Nigeria now destination for medical tourism as foreigners’ troops in – Health minister

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The Federal government has announced that Nigeria’s healthcare system is now attracting foreign patients, including Indians seeking medical treatments. In an interview on Arise TV, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Tunji Alausa, claimed that the nation’s healthcare is no longer in crisis and that the country is witnessing a reversal of the ‘japa syndrome,’ with medical personnel returning home from abroad.

Improved Healthcare System Boosts Medical Tourism

According to the Minister, Nigeria has become a preferred destination for medical tourism, particularly for surgical procedures, which are more cost-effective compared to other countries. The proliferation of aesthetic hospitals, numbering close to 900 across Nigeria, also contributes to attracting patients seeking services such as plastic surgery.

Government’s Commitment to Public Health

The Minister noted that the administration’s commitment to prioritizing public health has led to positive changes in the healthcare sector. The government has allocated dedicated funds and initiated collaborations to enhance primary healthcare services and expand health insurance coverage. The President has mandated the government to increase health insurance coverage from about seven million to about 50 million people in the next two to three years, marking the highest budget allocation for the health sector in almost 24 years.

Reversing the ‘Japa Syndrome’

The Minister claimed that with improvements in the healthcare system, the country is witnessing a reversal of the ‘japa syndrome,’ suggesting that medical personnel are returning home from abroad. This indicates that the government’s efforts to improve the healthcare system are having a positive impact on the retention and attraction of medical professionals in Nigeria.

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