The Federal Republic of Nigeria has been rated as the world’s third largest exporter of medical tourism to India as millions of dollars was spent on medical bills by government officials and the Nigerian elite, which made a positive impact on the Indian economy as far as 2015 is concerned.
This rating, which pushed India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to close at 7.5 percent while her economy also grew by 7.3 percent in the financial year ended 2015, has seen Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima saying Nigeria was only behind Iran and Afganistan for last year.
He wondered why millions of dollars was spent on medical bills abroad by government officials and eminent Nigerians while expressing his view that such monies could have been properly used to develop the nation’s health sector at a period the country was looking at various options to diversify her economy due to the ongoing economic woes.
Shettima added that government officials and the Nigerian elite should know that these monies that were spent offshore inform of medical tourism are supposed to be meant to develop the Nigeria’s economy, rather than, other countries’ economies. Specifically, the governor noted that the reason behind the medical tourism was due to the lack of infrastructural facility in the country.
“Nigerians spend millions of dollars on medical travels every year on medical tourism. Apart from Iran and
Afghanistan, we are the third largest exporter of medical tourism to India last year. I see no reason why this money was taken away from our country in the first “place to develop other countries’ economies all in the name of medical trip abroad.
“I know that one among the best eight medical doctors in United States is from Nigeria. Also, some of the best medical doctors in United Kingdom hailed from Nigeria. So, I see no reason why we shouldn’t harness our resources and build stateof- the-art- medical facility in the country that can urgently take care of the medical bills of our people that are going to India, Egypt and others countries for medical treatments. It is shocking to also note that some Nigerians are even going to places like Ghana to access medical care,” he said.