Fed­eral med­i­cal cen­tres

The Punch - - NEWS - Tunde Oyekola

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment plans to es­tab­lish six med­i­cal cen­tres of ex­cel­lence to stop med­i­cal tourism among Nige­ri­ans.

The Chair­man of the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on health, Sen­a­tor ibrahim Olo­riegbe, dis­closed this on Satur­day at a town hall meet­ing in ilorin where he gave ac­count of his stew­ard­ship to con­stituents in Kwara Cen­tral Se­na­to­rial Dis­trict.

Olo­riegbe said the ninth Na­tional Assem­bly had mapped out strate­gies to dis­cour­age med­i­cal tourism abroad with the re­sus­ci­ta­tion of spe­cialised cen­tres in fed­eral ter­tiary hos­pi­tals.

he said, “Med­i­cal tourism is a ma­jor is­sue we con­sid­ered in the 2020 bud­get. As the chair­man, health Com­mit­tee, we dis­cussed ex­ten­sively on how we can re­duce it to the barest min­i­mum; we en­gaged stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing the fed­eral Min­istry of health and heads of fed­eral ter­tiary hos­pi­tals.

“What we want to do is to iden­tify one cen­tre per geopo­lit­i­cal zones that will be des­ig­nated cen­tre of ex­cel­lence to treat what makes Nige­ri­ans to go out. Part of the main is­sue is the avail­abil­ity of cer­tain spe­cialised equip­ment, and we have used the 2020 bud­get to cre­ate can­cer fund.

“We have also looked at the bud­get of var­i­ous teach­ing hos­pi­tals and we iden­ti­fied some hos­pi­tals where we have al­lo­cated re­sources to make them to do bet­ter. The Na­tional hos­pi­tal in Abuja is one of such. if you look at the 2020 bud­get, it didn’t come from the ex­ec­u­tive; it was our ini­tia­tive, to put cer­tain re­sources in the na­tional hos­pi­tal for cer­tain area of can­cer treat­ment.”

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