The Federal Government on Monday advised Nigerians to seek information on the treatment of some diseases locally before thinking of going abroad.
According to the government, the advice became necessary because many of its hospitals across the country were now treating some of the medical issues pushing some citizens outside the shores of the country.
Meanwhile, the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi in Abuja, has commenced open heart surgery with four patients already undergoing treatment in the facility.
The government insisted that lack of awareness had compelled some Nigerians to seek treatment on certain diseases abroad rather than locally.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, gave the advice while inspecting some newly acquired facilities to improve the care of patients by the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi in Abuja.
He said government had put measures in place to address medical tourism.
Mamora said state-of-the-art equipment were being procured by the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to make treatment of surgeries less cumbersome. I have
The Minister stated that many public hospitals in the country were now treating some medical issues pushing Nigerians abroad.
He said, “There are other areas of medical tourism and we will be addressing them gradually. We are applying state-of-the-art equipment that would make the procedure less cumbersome.
“I can assure you that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is doing so much in terms of upgrading facilities to make them suitable for the exigencies of the moment.
“The affordability and sustainability are components of the Universal Health Coverage.
“All the medical team that carried out this surgery are Nigerians living in Nigeria. This goes to confirm the long-held view that with the conducive environment and availability of necessary equipment, we have competent Nigerians that can really carry out this procedure excellently well.”
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director of the FMC, Abuja, Prof. Saad Ahmed, explained that the open surgery was the “first of its kind in this facility.”
He said, “We were able to do it successfully and all the patients are doing quite well. The open heart surgery is quite delicate and requires a lot of skills and commitment.
“On this, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health was able to get some infrastructure and some equipment in this regard.
“We usually send some people for training in various accreditation because open heart surgery is teamwork.
“Many people at this moment are undergoing some forms of training. The essence for this is for us to domesticate this and make it a routine procedure in the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja.
“This is for the benefit of all Nigerians but we are looking at how this could benefit our neighbouring countries and some other parts of the world.
“We are starting something small but we are looking at how we can make it big in the nearest future.”
Ahmed explained that the surgeries carried out were possible through the support of Save A Heart Foundation UK, which, he said, provided “skills transfer and also donated some equipment.”
He said, “Because of that, we were able to subsidise the cost for the patients. But in the long run, we want to call on philanthropists, some corporate organisations and societies to actually come forward, to subsidise the cost of this surgery through donations to our Medical Indigent Fund.”
“The Board chairman has been making contacts here and there, to see how he can make these philanthropists come to the aid of some of these people.
“Meanwhile, locally, we have established the Medical Indigent Fund which is being managed by some members of this hospital’s community, all with the aim of generating some funds to assist the indigents.
“With the commencement of the open heart surgery here, it means that the managers of the Medical Indigent Fund need to be up and doing to reach people in far and near to see how they can come to the aid of those that are in need.”