By Hassan Zaggi
Nigerians have been warned against unnecessary travels to other countries for medical services as this could expose them to more complications.
A renowned Neuro Surgeon, Prof. Samuel Ohaegbulam, who gave the warning in interview with journalists in Abuja, disclosed that some Nigerians have gone for medical attention outside the country and instead of getting solution, they came back with more complications.
Prof. Ohaegbulam who is the Medical Director (MD) of Memfys Hospital, Enugu, advised Nigerians to look inward as there are many experts and health facilities that have the capacity to tackle their health challenges.
He reiterated that: “I always say that it is not going to receive the treatment abroad that matters, but it is whether its going to be a complication after treatment.
“In my hospital, we frequently see people who go abroad for treatment and bring back the complications to us.”
Responding to questions on how Nigeria can overcome medical tourism, he said: “It is a gradual process. This is not something you can wake up and say is abolished. This is because there are many reasons for medical tourism. One of them is that sometimes people feel that the services are not available in the country which will be true and may not be true.
“There are some trivial issues that people go to seek treatment abroad. I have seen all. We have cases where people go to seek care abroad, but I say we have such and such a person in the country that can handle such case in Nigeria and they remain speechless.
“Sometimes there is loss of confidence which they feel every hospital is the same, which is not the case.
“All the hospitals cannot be the same. There are some hospitals that strive to achieve an international standard in health care delivery while others are trying to but they have not gotten there.
“If one got disappointed in one hospital, it is better to look around and see if there are other centres who can do the work better. Often they don’t do that.”
He advised that there is need for intense advocacy for Nigerians to appreciate the quality of services available in the country.
“We need more advocacy. We need to make the society appreciate facilities that are available in the country. There are very few treatments that are not available in this country, no doubt about that,” he noted.