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Experts canvass investment in healthcare to check medical tourism, boost economy



Medical experts in the diaspora have called for more investment in the Nigeria’s healthcare system.

This, they said was necessary to end the spectre of medical tourism and save the country from capital flight.

The experts made the submission yesterday at the sixth yearly meeting of the Nigerian-American Medical Foundation International (NAMFI), in Lagos.

The theme of the meeting was: “New Advances in Disease Diagnosis and Treatment and Telemedicine.”

Vice Chairman of NAMFI Board of Trustees, Dr. Adeyinka Shoroye disclosed that the Medical Foundation has unveiled NAMFI Clinic Foundation Hospital in Lagos.

He disclosed that it would set up insurance fund for indigent patients to make healthcare more affordable.

According to him: “Within legal framework as a not-for-profit organisation, our current capital campaign model is now focused within the country on sustainable infrastructure development.”

This involves the super-tertiary tier of Nigeria’s healthcare system with long-term engagement of the corporate private sector.

Also included are multinational corporations in the country, particularly those who have been doing thriving business over a long time.

In his keynote speech, the former Nigeria Ambassador to United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade, urged high standard medical facilities for the country’s growth.

Also, the Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, (FMC), Abeokuta, Dr. Adewale Olomu, said one of NAMFI’s goals is to provide highest medical care in a personable environment

A Consultant Endocrinologist, Dr. Olubiyi Adesina represented him.

On her part, Lady Maiden Alex Ibru, who is a member of the NAMFI Board of Trustees, canvassed frequent medical tests to check for hidden diseases and avert death.

She spoke on the rising burden of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in the country.

Mrs. Ibru stressed that early diagnosis and intervention would reduce the weight of diseases and mortality in the country.

Medical experts in their submission had argued that improving medical diagnosis in the tertiary healthcare level, disease diagnostic capability, and patent care for citizens would boost the country’s economy.

The foundation solicited commitment and support of partners to facilitate programme implementation.

This is in line with a joint plan of action on designing highly specialised care centre in the country to stop the growing medical tourism.

According to the experts, Nigeria could retain the N500 billion, which according to statistics, is lost yearly to medical tourism.

This is in addition to the aggressive development of infrastructure and human resource optimisation that would follow.

The foundation stated that the country’s revenue would be further boosted with adequate financial support and willingness of Nigerian professionals in the diaspora to return home.

The foundation, which was incorporated in Nigeria and the United States of America, is a non-profit organisation, made up of international physicians.

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