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We must reverse trend of medical tourism – Osinbajo



The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has noted the need for Nigeria to reverse the trend of outbound medical tourism in order to grow the economy.

According to a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Office of the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, Professor Osinbajo stated this on Thursday during his virtual remarks at the official unveiling of the Evercare Hospital in Lekki, Lagos.

Professor Osinbajo also said investments in top medical care and the overall healthcare sector in Nigeria is set to birth one of “the fastest growing areas in a resurgent Nigerian economy”.

Evercare Hospital, part of the Evercare Group, operates as an integrated healthcare delivery platform in emerging markets across Africa and South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya and Nigeria. The international group has set aside a $1billion healthcare fund.

“The business case for more top quality medical care in Nigeria has always seemed quite obvious, but I think the fact that the Evercare Health Fund, (a US$ 1 billion emerging markets healthcare fund) has chosen to invest in healthcare in Nigeria, clearly confirms even to the greatest skeptics that we are seeing the birth of what may well become one of the fastest growth areas in a resurgent Nigerian economy,” Prof. Osinbajo submitted.

Speaking on the importance of having such a medical institution in Nigeria, the Vice President observed that “we must reverse the trend of outbound medical tourism” and there is the need to “attract, not just medical tourists from our neighbors in the region, but also become the place of choice for even developed countries’ medical tourists looking to jump long queues for specialized procedures at home.”

He also emphasized that the emergence of the Evercare Hospital would bring about a U-turn in the brain drain of medical personnel trained in Nigeria who are engaged in hospitals abroad because of better remuneration and better facilities.

Noting the peculiarity of the situation in Nigeria in terms of accessibility to healthcare, Prof Osinbajo pointed out that “we have by far the largest number of middle-to-low income communities and individuals in sub-Saharan Africa who require affordable, high-quality healthcare.”

The Vice President expressed his optimism and excitement in the facility with a “first-of-its-kind-purpose-built, 165-bed state-of-the-art international private hospital, that offers an extensive range of specialty medical and surgical services.”

He also expressed his pleasure at the fact that “in addition to its local world-class personnel, the hospital will leverage technology to consult with international specialists across the 29 hospitals and 16 clinics currently in its portfolio.”

According to the Vice President “we are certainly set for exciting times in the Nigerian healthcare story.”

In his own remarks, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu, commended the management of the hospital for their collaboration with citizens of Lagos, local and foreign investors in building a first-class edifice catering to the people.

Others present at the event were the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi; Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budgeting, Mr. Samuel Egube, Chairman of Evercare Hospital, Mr. Tosin Runsewe; Chief Executive Officer of Evercare Hospital, Mr. Rajeev Bhandari; Chief Medical Officer of Evercare Hospital, Dr. Ayo Shonibare and other dignitaries.

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