The Ibom Specialist Hospital in Akwa Ibom State is all set this year to reverse the trend of majority of Nigerians preferring to go to advanced countries for health checkup. This makes the country lose billions of dollars yearly on the ground of medical tourism as confirmed by Martins Ifijeh.
While declaring in a report, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in last October 2015 said that medical tourism sector was estimated to be worth US $3 billion and expected to grow $7–8 billion by 2020. However, the report never said that Nigeria alone contributed more than US $1 billion in 2015 to medical tourism.
The report of Nigerian medical tourism shows that many Nigerians also access medical treatment in Europe and the United States other than India. As a result, several millions of dollars are spent annually on healthcare in overseas enhancing the tourism sector of those countries and deteriorating that of Nigeria’s.
To bring an overall change to this practice, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo along with Dr. Goodluck Jonathan tried to invigorate the healthcare system so that commoners and government officials are not required to travel abroad for medical treatment.