President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over the country’s huge loss to medical tourism.
Buhari had for almost of three quarter of his first four years as President had been travelling to the United Kingdom to treatment of an undisclosed ailment.
However, speaking on Thursday at the inauguration of senior executive course (SEC) 41 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau state, the president said the country loses about N400 billion to medical tourism annually.
He was represented by Simon Lalong, Plateau governor,
The event had as its theme: ‘Funding Universal Health Care Delivery in Nigeria.’
The president said the country was losing so much to medical tourism because of the country’s health sector’s “inability to combat outbreak of deadly diseases and mass migration of medical personnel out of the country.”
“Government has shown strong commitment in the revitalisation of the health sector,” he said.
“These efforts notwithstanding, our health sector is still characterised by low response to the public health emergencies, inability to combat outbreak of deadly diseases and mass migration of medical personnel out of the country.
“This has resulted in increasing medical tourism by Nigerians in which Nigeria loses N400 billion on annual basis.”
The president said his administration is targeting 10,000 functional primary healthcare facilities across the country.
In 2017, Buhari spent over 150 days in the UK treating an undisclosed ailment.