Medical tourism, also called health tourism, can be used to describe the process of people travelling outside their countries to another country seeking medical aid. These hospitals are usually better equipped to handle their medical needs.
Medical tourism has become a global trend because of:
- High quality of facilities, doctors, treatments, and care not available in their countries.
- Affordable costs in other countries.
- Lesser waiting times.
Medical tourism also involves the promotion of a countries health care and services in addition to other social amenities in that country. Such medical health cares include chemotherapy, heart surgery, kidney transplant, and most chronic diseases.
Medical Tourism in Nigeria
Medical tourism is becoming popular among Nigerians and this is because of the undeveloped state of the health system in Nigeria. At least, a minimum of 5000 people travels out of the country for medical aid abroad.
About 1.2 billion dollars is lost to medical tourism yearly in Nigeria which could have been invested in the development of the country’s health care system and the country as a whole.
The World Health Organization recently ranked Nigeria 187 out of 191 countries in its ranking of the world’s health systems above only three countries in the world, while neighbouring countries like Ghana, Togo, Niger, Mali, and Chad were ranked better than Nigeria. Hence, making Nigerians the most travelled medical tourists.
Reason Why Nigerians Leave Their Country For International Medical Aid.
- Inadequate medical care providers due to their quest for greener pastures abroad.
Nigeria has become one of the most health staff exporting nations. Recent studies have shown the numbers of trained Nigerian doctors abroad, especially in the US and UK are 2,392 and 1,529 respectively.
- Inadequate funding of the medical sector in Nigeria.
This has contributed immensely to the medical tourism of Nigerians abroad. According to the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria, health facilities in the country such as health professionals and medical equipment are inadequate with policies hardly implemented, and a very low allocation.
- Lack of medical facilities.
Most equipment and infrastructure are obsolete and old. Most hospitals in Nigeria especially government-owned hospitals lack modern facilities and this discourages most Nigerians.
- Frequent strikes due to the poor socio-economic level of medical care providers.
This acts as an underlying factor for the poor system in the health sector of Nigeria.
- Poor attitude of most health providers.
Most healthcare providers in Nigeria have poor attitudes towards their patients and the health provision they render, which is a result of the low standard of living of most of them, especially the government-owned hospital.
Why Do Nigerians Prefer India As Their Medical Tourism Location?
India is popular among Africans seeking medical treatment abroad and Nigerians are not left out. Recent studies have shown that about 500 to 1000 Nigerians visits India for medical reasons every year for treatments such as surgeries, transplant, joint replacement, etc.
Reasons include the following:
- It is more affordable compared to other Western countries such as the UK and the US.
- India has highly skilled doctors, medical infrastructures, and technology with treatment approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
- Quality medical services provided by her hospitals and medical personnel.
- The cost of drugs is given at a reduced price. India produces generic drugs for a cheaper price compared to the prices found in the UK. The price of drugs such as antiretroviral medications is reduced immensely.
- The Indian government also provides incentives such as allowing foreign patients the opportunity to bring a companion at a discounted travel cost.
- The waiting period for getting a visa is within one week. This is a delight compared to the waiting period of getting a visa for other countries.
Possible Treatment That Nigerians Go For In India
Nigerians mostly visit India for treatment such as:
- Cardiothoracic surgery such as coronary Angiogram, by-pass surgery, congenital heart defects closure, valve replacement, etc.
- Transplant such as heart transplant, kidney transplant, liver transplant, bone marrow, etc.
- Joint replacement such as hip replacement, intensity-modulated radiation therapy.
- Oncology such as chemotherapy, breast cancer surgery, prostate cancer surgery, etc.
- Cosmetic needs such as rhinoplasty, abdominoplasty, breast lift, breast reduction, breast augmentation, facelift, etc.
- Eye treatment such as cataract surgery, retinal detachment, vitrectomy, etc.
- Infertility treatments, spinal fusion, dental implant, etc.
Cost of Medical Tourism in India
India in recent times has become most African’s choice when choosing a medical tourism location due to how affordable it is compared to other western countries, yet still rendering quality services.
The cost of drugs also in India is highly reduced, making it the delight of most people when choosing locations for medical tourism, especially Nigerians.
The cost of medical treatment in India could vary based on the city, visa and travel arrangements, medical condition, post-surgical complications, time recovery, hence, the need for buying health insurance that could cover various medical expenses, including pre and post hospitalization, and reduce medical fluctuation.
Anavara could help you connect with several highly skilled doctors and hospitals in India, at affordable prices for your medical care.
We will be glad to help you answer any questions you have.