Medical Tourism: Lawmakers Vow To Boost Enrollment In Medical Schools 

The House Committee on Health Institutions have said that they would simplify the enrollment process into medical schools in the country inorder to have sufficient manpower to reverse medical tourism.

Chairman of the Committee,  Dr. Amos Magaji stated this during an oversight visit of the Committee to National Hospital, Abuja on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

Magaji said they were passionate about healthcare delivery in Nigeria, adding that one of the cardinal points made in his inaugural speech was the issue of medical tourism. To this he said, “we lost and we must do everything possible to reverse the trend.

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“We must get people to start coming from different parts of the world and reduce the number of Nigerians going outside the country for treatment, let it be that Nigerians go to seek medical intervention abroad by choice. We have to wake up because, no matter who you are, when you are sick, you need somebody to treat you.

“We will be glad to have our hospitals functional and our systems working. We’ll be glad to have others come to Nigeria for treatment.

“In this 10th assembly, we’ll do everything possible to support the healthcare system. We’ll do everything to support the delivery, equipment of our hospitals, the PPP arrangement, those that the hospital are able to procure and those to be through intervention”, he said.

Magaji noted that, even the budget for health was very poor, he averred that the health care system needed some urgent intervention:

“Some were done during covid and of course covid exposed the Nigerian healthcare system because it also helped to revamp some of the hospitals, many hospitals before covid didn’t even have an oxygen plant but they do now.

“We also want to ensure that human resources for health starting from the medical schools, making enrollment into the medical schools easy.

“We’re going to engage the government and legislate to see how the practice of medicine in Nigeria attractive, competitive so others from different countries can come and practice medicine in Nigeria”, he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Director, National Hospital, Prof. Mahmud Raji informed that the Hospital had seen a lot of changes, from the time when things were beautiful and rosy to now when they were a bit hard, yet, despite that, the staff of the hospital were doing their best to ensure they give Nigerians the best.

Speaking on the challenges of the hospital, Prof. Raji said, “when the hospital came into being 24, 25 years ago, it had the state of the art equipment, state of the art facilities and state of the art staff but as time went on, the level of attention given to the hospital declined steadily.

“The great mandate of being the apex hospital where even tertiary hospitals should refer to has been the mandate given to us several years ago.

“We are trying to live up to that expectation but in the last decade or two, unfortunately, things have not been as rosy because we know from the economic hardship the country is going through, national Hospital is not immune.

“The financial availability to the hospital dwindled, income dwindled and as a result, a number of facilities in the country went down as a result of lack of maintenance , the structures have also gotten a bit dilapidated”, he said.

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