House of Representatives passes bill to regulate medical tourism

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja.

Chamber of the Nigeria House of Representatives

The Nigerian House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a bill for an Act to amend the National Health Act to regulate and prohibit International medical trip by public servants.

This is to facilitate the development of effective health care facilities and strengthen existing public and private health institutions for efficient service delivery.

Leading the debate before the passage, the Sponsor of the bill, Sagius Ogun said the amendment seeks to curb the huge foreign exchange Nigeria loss annually to medical tourism.

Mr. Ogun decried that over 5,000 citizens fly out on a monthly basis, seeking medical treatment in India and other countries.

According to the lawmaker, “Nigeria losses over 500 million dollars annually, with India alone getting about 260 million dollars of the cash flight.
It is against this backdrop that the proposed amendments seek to create a conducive operating health environment that will attract the best Nigerian medical brains in diaspora and other foreign medical personnel in search of greener pasture.”

Mr Ogun stated that only serious health cases which can not not be attended to in Nigeria will be granted approval by the minister of health.

Meanwhile, Nnena Elendu Ukeje faulted the amendment, saying it Infringes on the rights of public servants, arguing that there is no where in the world this is done.


Aisha JM