Saturday, September 12

REVEALED: 50 countries share Nigerians’ $1bn medical tourism spending

About 50 countries benefited from the $1bn spent by 30,000 Nigerians on medical tourism in 2014, an Internet portal,, has revealed.

Forty per cent of the amount, according to the portal, was spent by Nigerians to get medical care in India alone.

The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Saurabh Maskara, named other countries that benefited from the rest of the money to include Singapore and Malaysia, among others. As a result of the huge amount of money spent on seeking medical help abroad, Maskara said the beneficiary countries had now identified medical tourism as their national industry.

He, however, noted that many Nigerians seeking medical help abroad lacked access to the right information that could help locate hospitals where they could get efficient and affordable treatment.

Maskara said, “ has resolved to remove the noticeable non-transparent practices which existed in the system.

“ is trying to fix this problem by partnering JCI accredited hospitals and allowing patients to communicate with hospitals directly.

“Apart from the rich, the poor who cannot afford medical travel are often lucky to have organisations and good hearted philanthropists to support them. Majority of people travel for four major areas namely: cardiology, orthopaedic, renal dialysis issue and cancer.

“India issues M type visa for medical tourism where most Nigerian head for affordable high quality health care. Many Indian hospital chains are in the process of opening up hospitals in Nigeria.

“India requires you to have Oral Polio Vaccination certificate and yellow fever certificate, except for infants below the age of six for travelling to that country.

“High quality hospitals in India such as Arthimis, Max, and Primus, among others offer heart bypass for as low as $7,000 compared to $130,000 in the United States and $40,900 in UAE. Lot of them provide cashless services to policy holders of insurance Aetna Global Service, International BUPACIGNA International, and International SOS, GSG/ Tiecare International.

“Companies in the Unites States often give incentives to employees to travel abroad for medical treatment to bring down their operating costs. Lot of these people are travelling eastwards to Asian destination.”

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