Nigerians spend between $1.2 and $1.6 billion on medical tourism each year, according to Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of communications and culture.
Mohammed claimed this had been a drain on the country’s foreign reserves during a guided tour of Duchess International Hospital in Lagos on Tuesday.
However, the minister stated that the federal government was committed to halting the trend through a variety of health initiatives as well as the creation of an enabling environment for private-sector driven businesses like Duchess to develop.
He revealed that the federal government funded $5.5 million in each of two diagnostic centers in Kano and Umuahia, as well as $11.5 million at the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre in Lagos, through the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
The 100-bed Duchess, according to Mohammed, is a purpose-built, state-of-the-art hospital geared at providing Nigerians with the greatest medical expertise available anywhere in the globe, employing the most sophisticated equipment and therapies.