The Coordinating Minister of Health, Ali Pate, has said he will address the gap in Nigeria’s healthcare to end medical tourism.
Pate, who was speaking at his maiden meeting with Kachollom Daju, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health, highlighted the fact that many Nigerians travel abroad for medical treatment due to a lack of adequate facilities and services in the country. This, he said, was a major issue that needed to be addressed urgently.
The Minister acknowledged that the economic value chain existing in the health sector should be harnessed, adding that it needs to be carefully crafted with every stakeholder being a part of the conversation.
“When you fly from Addis Ababa to New Delhi, you see a lot of people going for medical tourism and it is not a thing we in the health sector should rest on our oars and regard as normal. We should do something about it and improve our health outcomes,” he stated.
He further said: “It is important that we deal with the issues of governance to improve the governance of health. The Federal Government, States and Local Governments and other stakeholders will work together, including those who may be differently abled in the construct of health policy and implementation.
“I think the fact that the President also included social welfare in the health portfolio indicates he also considers the people as the basis; the foundational element for what his administration tries to do. This is because the welfare of the people is linked to their health; their health and well-being are interconnected right from gestation to childhood, to adulthood to elderly, and all across the life cycle.”
Pate went on to state that the President realises that Nigerians are eager to feel the impact of government so that people feel the difference that his `Renewed Hope’ agenda actually begins to touch the lives of people and we are right where it can be done.