Medical Tourism in Nigeria
Medical tourism in Nigeria has been on the rise in the recent past. The ministry of health in Nigeria has highlighted various causes and ways of stopping it as a way of promoting local hospitals in the country. All you need to know about medical tourism in Nigeria will be discussed here below.
History of Medical Tourism in Nigeria
The history of medical tourism in Nigeria dates back to the colonial period. During the struggle for Nigeria’s independence, healthcare was curative oriented rather than preventative care. The elites during this period started getting medical attention outside the country. At this time, only a few elites could access medical treatment outside the country.
After independence, there was a boom of medical tourism in Nigeria due to the elevation of many black Nigerians into political power. With access to money, many people continually opted for advanced treatment outside the country. Year by year, the number of medical tourists has increased with many people seeking medical treatment outside Nigeria.
The Nigerian government through the ministry of health has been able make policies aimed at reducing medical tourism in Nigeria. One of the latest policy is to ban medical tourism in Nigeria. From the year 2017, the Nigerian government will not allow its citizens to seek medical attention outside the country if the same service can be offered in Nigeria.
Causes of Medical Tourism in Nigeria
There are many reasons why medical tourism is rampant in Nigeria. Here below are some of the leading causes of medical tourism in Nigeria.
- Poor Healthcare in Nigeria
The growth of medical tourism is attributed to the poor healthcare system in Nigeria. Since the healthcare system of the country cannot attend to the needs of people in Nigeria, the citizens are left with no other option than to seek medical services from other developed countries, thus increasing medical tourism in the country.
- Access to Cheap Hospitals outside Nigeria
There has been an influx of cheap medical facilities in India offering high quality medical services. This has seen many Nigerians opt for these hospitals since the equivalent of such are expensive in Nigeria.
- Increasing access to money
There is an increase in access to finance in Nigeria. The upper class members of the society disregard Nigerian hospitals preferring to visit the expensive European and American hospitals.
Majority of doctors in Nigeria are viewed to be negligent in their work. This has caused great worry among citizens seeking specialized services, thus opting for hospitals abroad.
These are some of the reasons why medical tourism is rampant in Nigeria.
Medical Tourism Companies in Nigeria
The link between Nigerians and foreign hospitals are the companies offering medical tourism services. Medical tourism companies in Nigeria play a major role in linking Nigerians with these foreign hospitals. Some of the leading medical tourism companies include the following:
- Care point solutions: located behind ap plaza in Abuja. Here you can get access to different hospitals abroad.
- Medvisit: this medical tourism company is located in Lagos. This company links Nigerians with cheap medical facilities in India.
- Redbridge healthcare: this medical tourism company is located in Abuja, Nigeria. The company is focused on providing improved healthcare experience in Nigeria and around the world.
- Paradigm healthcare: located in Abuja, Nigeria, Paradigm healthcare is a gateway to medical treatment in India.
People visiting medical tourism companies in Nigeria have the following as their major reasons:
- Specialist knowledge: when visiting a medical tourism company in Nigeria, you will get specialist knowledge and thus get the best country for your medication.
- Reduced rates: medical tourism companies in Nigeria get special deals from hospitals abroad and thus you are bound to get reduced rates.
- Complete medical tourism packages: when dealing with a medical tourism company in Nigeria, you will be covered in all aspects of your trip.
Effects of Medical Tourism in Nigeria
Medical tourism has had a number of effects in Nigeria. Here below are some of the effects of medical tourism in Nigeria.
- Improved healthcare services
Since people have been moving outside the country due to poor healthcare services, the government has improved healthcare services. This is due to the challenge the government gets.
- Integrated healthcare
Some Indian hospitals are establishing their centres in Nigeria to cater for the demand of specialized healthcare services. This leads to integrated healthcare services between local and international healthcare providers.
- Decreased government revenue
The government of Nigeria loses a lot of money to medical tourism. It is estimated that over $1 billion is lost annually in medical tourism. When people take money out of the country to other countries, the government of Nigeria loses revenue that would have been channeled to the country’s kitty.
- Hurt Nigeria Healthcare
There is a negative effect felt by the country’s healthcare. The healthcare system of Nigeria is hurt by medical tourism since the system loses a lot of money abroad.
Generally, medical tourism has a bad effect on the economy. However, it is clear that it has led to the improvement of the country’s healthcare services.
Medical Tourism Statistics in Nigeria
Here below are some of the statistics about medical tourism in Nigeria:
- Nigeria is the leading African country medical tourism. It leads by 42.4%.
- It is estimated that Nigeria spends $1 billion on medical tourism. This is just an estimate that actually fluctuates depending on the number of patients getting out of the country.
- The amount of money spent in medical tourism in Nigeria can help construct six world class hospitals in Nigeria.
- On average, a medical tourist spends an average of $30,000 on each medical trip.
- In 2013, Nigerians accounted for 34,522 out of 275,271 medical tourists who arrived in India.
These are some of the most important statistics concerning medical tourism in Nigeria. As the most populous continent in Africa, Nigeria is also in the forefront of medical tourism in the continent, thus putting its healthcare system exposed.
The recent efforts by the government to reduce the number of Nigerians going abroad for treatment will help in reducing medical tourism in Nigeria.