Build hospitals to attract medical tourists, Senator tells FG
Cross River Caucus Chairman in the National Assembly, Senator Gershom Bassey, has called for the establishment of six special hospitals in the six geopolitical zones of the country to boost healthcare delivery and attract medical tourism into Nigeria.
Bassey, who represents Cross River South Senatorial District in the Senate, also observed that the just established Navy Hospital in Calabar, is world class and called for adequate funding through budget provision by the Federal Government.
In a phone interview with newsmen in Calabar, Bassey, a governorship aspirant, said: “There should be a minimum of six special and well-equipped hospitals in the six geopolitical zones of the country and whatever we can do to improve healthcare in our country is welcomed.”
He pointed out that time had come to raise the country’s health sector to an international standard but said he would not subscribe to the idea of banning political office holders, including the president, from going abroad for medical treatment as a way of boosting the health system, saying: “It is unconstitutional.
However, I would expect that if facilities are available and meet international standards, then all leaders, starting with whoever is the sitting President, would lead by example by patronising such facilities.”
On the Navy Hospital, he added: “We can make it the equivalent of the Walter Reed Hospital in the United States. This is the hospital all us, presidents use exclusively. It could stem the tide of medical tourism abroad.
Recall that Bassey had, in his contribution at the Senate Committee on Appropriation forum recently, made a case for additional funding for the Navy Hospital, stating that the original intention was to make it “to be the equivalent of the Walter Reed Hospital in America.”