Reps Vow To Reduce Medical Tourism

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions expressed its commitment to reducing the emigration of Nigerians seeking medical treatment abroad and the departure of doctors in pursuit of better opportunities overseas.

During the visit to the Federal Medical Centre in Jabi, Abuja, Medical Director Prof Sa’ad Ahmed revealed that approximately 51 healthcare professionals had left the institution since the start of 2023, coinciding with the committee’s oversight evaluation of healthcare standards at the facility.

During the visit, Amos Magaji, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions, emphasized the committee’s intention to enhance the budgetary allocation for the healthcare sector. Magaji also indicated the committee’s dedication to securing additional land allocation for the hospital to expand its healthcare services.

Magaji noted, “On the issue of budget for health, everyone knows that the entire budget for this country is not there, and the budget for health is something to look into. We are doing everything to ensure that if the nation prospers, the budget for the nation will improve. We have dilapidated infrastructure everywhere, if you go to the education and power sectors, they are also complaining.

“That is why we are on this oversight function so that we look at what we have before the budget is presented, and we can see areas of need where you truly need intervention. This hospital is dear to us, we need to pay more attention to health because health is wealth.”

In the meantime, Ahmed expressed sorrow over the fact that brain drain had impacted every department within the hospital.

“Currently, we are facing a manpower shortage in the Ear, Nose and Throat department. We equally have challenges in the department of neurology as we only have one consultant there. We run clinics once a week there. We also have a challenge in the cardiology department, and more people are coming for those services. In physiotherapy, about four or five people have left. Every department is affected.

“This year alone, about 51 staff have left the facility. It is biting, and it will continue to bite. We can talk about one-for-one replacement, but sometimes you cannot get that level of experience of the person that is leaving,” he said.


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