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Practitioners decry loss of $1 billion on medical tourism

National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Ojo, Lagos, has decried the over $1 billion lost yearly to medical tourism by private individuals and government officials.

Members of the college converged on Owerri, Imo State, to discuss issues bordering on medical education and standards.

At the end of their three-day conference, they urged the Federal Government, sub-national governments and employers of skilled medical practitioners to nip the issue in the bud.

A step towards stopping brain drain in the health sector, they said, is enhancing the welfare packages of health workers to compete with what is obtainable in other countries.

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Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, had revealed that Nigeria loses about $1 billion yearly to medical tourism.

During the 13th Annual Scientific Conference of the college, with the theme ‘Current Challenges of Medical Education in Nigeria’ held at the Imo Trade and Investment Centre, Owerri, Ehanire lamented the country’s woes in the health sector, which were being tackled gradually.

The whopping sum lost could be channelled into useful ventures, he said.

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