Medical Tourism Challenge: The Rivers Initiative – Could That be The Answer?

Gov Amechi

Rivers State government under the leadership of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi aimed to transform its state into a hub of African Medical Tourism.  The administration plans to reverse the out pour of medical tourism from Nigeria that cost the country staggering billions. Part of the plan includes upgrading its current health facilities across the state to be up to par with both technology and  infrastructure; while the main strategy for becoming the medical tourism destination for Nigerians and all Africans falls behind the two world class medical facilities with the state of the art equipment and technology that is first of its kind in the Sub-Saharan Africa. The Kelsey Harrison Hospital, and the Dental/Maxillo-Facial Specialist Hospital, both in Port Harcourt.

According to the National Coordinator of International Trauma Care Centre (ITCC), Dr. Sydney Ibeanusi,“these facilities are equipped to handle critical various critical medical conditions” Dr. Ibeanusi continued that once these medical centers are fully open for service, “Rivers State will become a tourism destination for Nigerians seeking medical care as many would prefer coming here than going abroad for similar quality of care” He then added that both knee surgeries and MRI imaging that lure most Nigerians to medical tourism are now conveniently and successfully done here in Port Harcourt.


The Nigerian Medical Association praised Governor Wada for opting to medical care in Nigeria following his car crash.

Governor Wada

The Governor of Kogi State, his Excellency Idris Wada has received a lot of praises from across the Country of Nigeria for not joining the rising trend of high profile politicians who who go anywhere but Nigeria seeking medical care. There are well documented reports of Nigerian political leaders at various levels traveling abroad for medical care ranging from check-ups or physical exams to more specialized cares like invasive surgeries.

Many Nigerians are wishing the government a fast recovery from his recent automobile accident which claimed the life of the Assistant Superintendent of Police Idris Mohammed, the governnor’s aide –de-camp. Wada who suffered a fracture from the car crash is currently undergoing medical treatment in Abuja.

The President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele praised Governor Wada for patriotism and urged other political leaders to emulate Wada’s footstep.

Nigerians spent a whopping $500 million (N78 billion) overseas yearly for medical treatment

Nigeria Medical Association warns about the staggering amount of money (billions)  that Nigeria is losing to foreign countries (especially India) in medical tourism.  Nigeria already facing serious brain drain now faces serious threat from medical tourism.

It is estimated that about  30% of foreign healthcare providers in the united States are from Nigeria. The number is even higher for Great Britain. While U.S and Great Britain  used to have greater share of Nigerians seeking foreign healthcare ; Indian has emerged in the recent years to outperform other countries . It is estimated that 95% of Nigerians traveling abroad for medical treatment go to India.

According to Prof. Onybuchi Chukwu, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Nigerians spent a whopping $500 million (N78 billion) overseas yearly for medical treatment.

Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Suffered a Crippling Power Outages



The operations of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) came to a partial halt for two days secondary to power outages. Although there were back up generators with limited capabilities, they can not run for 24 hours. Mainly, to avoid running the risk of over heating and thus damaging them then suffering  the utmost darkness, and maintaining cost of operations to a sustainable minimum to avoid driving up the cost of medical serves as many of their patients are unable to afford increased cost. Reports maintained that the blood bank was evacuated and blood transferred to an area of stable electricity.

According to the Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Prof. Akin Osibogun; the power system in Nigeria is epileptic because as a developing country, Nigerian still struggles with power supply challenges.

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