Nigerians spend $15bn on medical tourism – US physician

A US physician, Stephen Hunt, of the University of Pennsylvania has said Nigerian leaders and other individuals spend $15bn annually on medical tourism abroad.

Hunt decried the development and urged leaders to make Nigeria the hub of medical advancement for the rest of African nations.

Hunt disclosed that his radiotherapy training in Nigeria was aimed at reducing the huge expenses by Nigerians on medical treatment abroad.

He made the disclosure while addressing journalists at the Biochemistry Department, University of Ibadan, on Saturday.

Hunt said, “We are in the Department of Radiology, UCH, and had a conference in UCH last week where there were physicians from the US to start interventional radiotherapy training.

“More than $15bn is spent yearly by Nigerians to travel abroad for medical reasons. We can reduce that if people are trained here so they won’t have to spend a lot of money.

“When they travel, they are not just paying for the medical service; they are also paying for food, accommodation and flight. It won’t be that expensive if it can be treated in Nigeria.”

Hunt said the choice of Nigeria was based on the country’s leadership status across the African continent.

“We chose Nigeria because Nigeria showed leadership role. They have the largest economy and the largest population. They started ECOWAS and AU,” he said.