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Medical practitioners under the aegis of Doctor’s Forum have berated the rise in medical tourism, saying that the incident is due lack of infrastructure and trust in the nation’s healthcare system.
Chairman of the occasion Dr Oluyomi Finnih said the issue of health is primary and very compulsory and as a professional he believes the problems are technical.Finnih added that the issues been discussed at some point, with relief that the private entrepreneurship getting up saying these problems are technical and they will provide technical support because we have more qualified Nigerians that can do the job anywhere in the world.
Interventional Cardiologist and Medical Director, First Cardiology Consultants’ Dr. Yemi Johnson said that the healthcare system in the country has gone very bad and the government is not living up to expectations but he is delighted that private investors are taking up the task.
Johnson lamented that everything government does is set up against you; the bureaucracy is terrible, even NAFDAC is making things difficult. “I came back to Nigeria because people do come abroad to see mediocre doctors and minor things like routine health check, hypertension, stroke and Angina that can be treated here. It is not that our doctors are not brilliant. The system has completely broken down.You cannot claim you are a radiologist and you do not have Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computerised Tomography (CT) scan, cardiology surgery in your hospital, we are just fooling ourselves. The infrastructure is not there. We should not always blame the government, we the doctors should also take up the mantle,”he said.
Consultant Nephrologists and Clinical Director, St. Nicholas hospital Dr. Ebun Bamgboye said that the issue of medical tourism is because of lack of trust in Nigeria healthcare system.
Bamgboye said that the challenges are the issue of manpower, literacy poverty and peculiarities of infections, cancers and late presentation to the hospital.
He said that the hospital has recorded a great feat in the area of renal transplant with about 700,000 people living with transplant globally.
The Nephrologists’ added:“Africa has the least number of people being treated of renal diseases and it is not because we do not have it. Renal Disease is four times more prevalent in blacks. We inherit a gene called the APOH and MYH gene which prevents death by malaria and trypanosomiasis but encourages kidney failure. Seventeen thousand are needing dialysis every year, but across Nigeria you do not have up to 2000 people so what happens to the rest.”
He cited poverty, illiteracy, poor access to healthcare as the cause of the predicament.