The way and manner Nigerians travel abroad on medical check up otherwise known as medical tourism is one that gives me great concern. It is no news that Nigerians are the highest patronizers of hospitals in United Kingdom, America, India and China. It is rather unfortunate that Nigerians get to spend huge amount of money on medical tourism due to the poor health-care facilities in the country.
It is a known fact that Cross River State is a tourism destination and with the tourism drive in the State. It is only natural that the State keys into medical tourism. The sector has a lot to offer in terms of improving the economy of the State. As the State readies for the largest street party, I call on the State government to key into medical tourism.
Medical tourism generates a lot of income. The money spent going abroad can be spent in Cross River State once the State provides an enabling environment for medical tourism to thrive. It is rather unfortunate that in Cross River State, they are not equipments for the treatment of terminal diseases such as kidney, liver, cancer, heart transplant, IVF, orthopaedic, cardiac surgery , oncological treatment and many more. But once the State develops the medical sector, it would create a huge success in terms of generating massive revenue for the State.
Cross River State has to focus on developing the health sector. The general hospitals need to be transformed into world class hospitals. Doctors and nurses need to be trained on how to handle modern medical equipments. People love good services, so, if patients, and the general public, get to know that they is a high standard and efficient medical facility and team in Cross River State, I have no doubt in my heart that they will come for treatment and at the same time visit our tourism destination. Resting their nerves and also enjoying our warm hospitality, boosting the economy of Cross River State.
For Cross River State to achieve medical tourism, the State has to provide highly sophisticated diagnosis tools and experts in all area of medicine need to be brought. But let me warn, the experts have to indigenous, this is in order for it to be sustainable.
Let me also resound that one of the benefits of medical tourism, is that it creates jobs for the citizens of the home nation providing the services. And if we provide such services in the State, our people will be gain employment, businesses will thrive, hotels, restaurants, places of relaxation and many more will have a boost due to the inflow of people into the State.
The Cross River State government has to understand that one of the benefits of medical tourism is having the privilege of traveling to other nations of the world. And so, with the tourism drive of the State, it is will enable the tourist explore our rich natural heritage. They would have the opportunity of visiting our tourism destinations by so doing buying in our State and also doing business in the State. We must understand that medical tourism has the potential of removing Cross River State from economic crunch and putting her apar with nations like India when it comes to medical health-care.
It is my candid opinion that Cross River State begins to look towards the direction of medical tourism. Nigerians are itching for quality health-care. Nigerians want to receive the best health care services. People want quality and immediate services. So, if the Cross River State health sector is developed, it is going to attract a lot of visitors to the State especially Nigerians as our people will no longer source for visas and travelling documents because the services are just by their door step. No individual who is in dire need of health care wants to wait or get delayed. With medical tourism, it will ease the patient, save time and energy put in trying to travel overseas.
For the State to achieve medical tourism, it has to be affordable. Affordability is key in driving medical tourist to the State. Once it is affordable and experts are on ground to handle chronic diseases, the State is going to achieve huge success in revenue generation.
Medical tourism is gaining so much popularity in Nigeria. It is on this note that i call on the enigmatic governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ayade Benedict to channel his developmental drive towards medical tourism in the State. I am optimistic that medical tourism will provide a striking economic solution to the State and also provide huge revenue to Cross River State.
Prince Thomas Abi Jr.
Is a Public Affairs Analyst/Social Commentator
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