Lagos State Government has revealed that plans are ongoing to develop a Medical Park to attract medical tourists and make the state a medical tourism hub.
Dr Obafemi Hamzat, the state Deputy Governor, made this known on Sunday in Lagos at the unveiling of the Duchess Royal Medical Check-Up in collaboration with Lagos Marriott Hotel at Ikeja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Duchess Royal Medical Check-Up is an exclusive three-day comprehensive total body health screening and wellness programme.’
The programme focuses on early detection of disease and providing comprehensive health check assessment.
Speaking at the event, Hamzat stated that the state government would continue to commit funding to the health sector and ensure universal health coverage for which quality would be an essential component.
He noted that improvements would include the physical structures of the health facilities, provision of specialised care, improving the capacity of health workers and incorporating quality improvement processes.
“The health sector in our country has over the years struggled to ensure quality in the delivery of health care services.
“The effect of this, apparently, has led to the mistrust of the population in health service delivery in the country.
“This mistrust opened a whole new market for medical tourism, which is also called health tourism and basically refers to international travel for the purpose of receiving medical care,” he said.
Hamzat also stated that the National Association of Resident Doctors revealed that about N576 billion (1.2 billion dollars) was lost to medical tourism yearly in Nigeria.
He said: “every month it was stated that about 9000 medical tourists are from Nigeria out of which 5000 visit India, mumbai and Delhi.”
The deputy governor noted that it was worrisome when regular checkups or annual physical examination had become a significant component of medical tourism.
He, therefore, called for potential partnerships in the healthcare and hospitality industry to emulate the giant stride and take Lagos to greater heights.
Hamzat said as a responsive government, the Lagos State Government had over the time created an enabling environment for private health establishments through the Office of Public-Private Partnership and Office of SDG and Investment.
“It is our belief and hope that such relationships will help to propel the State towards becoming an attractive destination for medical service provision and reduction in medical tourism.”
Earlier, the Chairman, Department of Cardiology, Duchess/Tristate Institute, Prof. Kamar Adeleke, who advised Nigerians to do regular medical check-up, stressed that wellness was very important to their health.
Adeleke added that it was also important for everyone to “Know their Numbers”, including their blood pressure, blood sugar and Cholesterol level.
He said: “the World Health Organisation, said that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death estimated 32 per cent of global deaths.”
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to be watchful and conscious of food intake and eat healthy food.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Duchess International Hospital, Dr Yemi Onabowale, also advised Nigerians to take their health seriously and carry out regular medical checkup.
He urged the people to value their health by giving it time irrespective of their busy schedule.
“Being well is about having your health checked which is done by knowing your numbers, health screening, and visiting your doctors regularly,” he said.