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Corruption and Vested Interests Major Reasons For Medical Tourism By Nigerian Elites – Dr Jemchang Yildam Fabong

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A Family Consultant and Director of Health Financing, USAID-IHP Nigeria, Dr Jemchang Yildam Fabong has identified corruption and vested interests by Nigeria’s Elites as the major cause of medical tourism. Dr Fabong stated this on Sunday, 14th April, 2024 when he featured as the 10th Guest of POINTBLANK NEWS BLOG INTERACTIVE SESSION.

Pointblank News Blog Interactive Session is a platform that ensures that the populace’s misunderstanding and misinterpretation of government policies and purposes are reduced to the barest minimum while promoting a knowledgeable citizenry and also assists the government in delivering direct and unfiltered messages on its programmes and activities to the citizens

The Pioneer Director General of Plateau State Contributory Health Management Agency (PLASCHEMA) while responding to a question on the major cause of prevalent trend of medical tourism by Nigeria’s elite emphatically listed “Corruption and vested interests”.

He submitted that “we have what it takes to build world class medical centres in Nigeria. By the way, when those who are privileged to go out eventually visit these facilities, they meet either Nigerian doctors or nurses or those not as well trained. The Nigerian healthcare workers are in serious demand worldwide. This shows a deficit in infrastructure and facility”

Medical tourism has become a popular trend among Nigerian elites in recent years, with many individuals traveling abroad to seek medical treatment in countries with more advanced healthcare systems. While the idea of traveling to receive high-quality medical care may seem appealing, there are several disadvantages associated with this practice that must be considered.

It is important for Nigerian elites to consider the negative impact that medical tourism can have on the local healthcare system and the wider population. Instead of seeking treatment abroad, elites should work towards improving the healthcare infrastructure in Nigeria and supporting local hospitals and healthcare providers. By investing in the local healthcare system, elites can help to ensure that all Nigerians have access to quality medical care, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Speaking further, the immediate past Plateau State Youth Congress Chairman applauded President Tinubu for increasing the funding of healthcare sector but called for accountability to enable the impact be felt by the ordinary person in the remote village of the country

“The Bola Ahmed Tinubu Government has declared a state of emergency on health. Prior to this administration, the best BHCPF allocation was N53billion. Last year, N125b was appropriated and released. The World Bank has given huge donations to the system. We hope to see massive impact and measured outcomes from these. But the question still remains. Is it more money for health or more health for money?

“The accountability framework must be strengthened so we can discuss freely what we did and how that has impacted the people”, he concluded

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