Sultan proffers solution to medical tourism
Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Abubakar, has said that adequate attention to primary healthcare can reduce medical tourism from the country.
The Sultan stated this in his opening remarks yesterday at a policy dialogue themed ‘Funding Universal Healthcare Delivery In Nigeria: Integrating the Perspective of Traditional and Religious Institutions’ organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State.
According to him, for primary healthcare to make impact and succeed in Nigeria, religious and traditional leaders should be carried along, as they are close to the grassroots and can easily mobilise their subjects as well as advise government on how to address the myriad health challenges of their subjects.
“Both the traditional rulers and religious leaders should be carried along; they are closer to the people and the first point of call whenever their subjects are facing any health challenge. This does not need coercion and doesn’t required arms. Religious leaders and traditional rulers are in the best position all over the world to solve most of the problems associated with healthcare delivery.
“We should encourage the government to set up real healthcare centres. This will reduce medical tourism,” he said.
Lamenting the lack of proper funding of primary healthcare in Nigeria, he said the policy dialogue was timely.
Abubakar noted primary healthcare as the foundation of healthcare delivery in the country, as most Nigerians at the grassroots have lost their lives to health-related issues.
The religious leader, therefore, urged the Federal Government to implement the recommendations of the dialogue.
Also, the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, tasked the participants of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 41 of the institute not to limit their research work to the cities, stressing that they should find time for the rural people and hear their plight as regards accessing primary healthcare in their locality.