Relief has come to Nigeria’s health sector as India doctors and medical experts storm the country to end medical tourism estimated at over $1 billion. The Indian doctors are already training Nigerian doctors on new technology and trends in the field of medicine to enable local professionals treat patients in the country, rather than refer them to India or other parts of the world. Apollo Speciality Hospital in India is leading the chase and wants Nigeria hospitals to have the requisite technology and expertise that will enable them treat patients with any form of ailment, rather than allow them go abroad for treatment. Trainings have taken place in Abuja and Lagos, including Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos. Healthcare security According to the Business Head for Nigeria, Rakesh Jalla, the healthcare security in Nigeria is not as good as what people expect, prompting many people to travel abroad for treatment. Jalla who is also the deputy general manager, international marketing at Apollo Hospitals noted that, “We want the patients to be treated at their own country. We come here with some specialised doctors to share the latest technology and see how we can collaborate together to ensure patients are treated here,” He further said the hospital is collaborating with Nigerian doctors in the areas of knowledge sharing, training programmes, which enable doctors from Apollo and other areas trained in the UK and the US, to school Nigerian counterparts for three or six months free of charge. He said Nigeria has a large population and great opportunities, stressing that Apollo wants more collaboration with the government in order to assist Nigeria improve its healthcare delivery system. “See it’s easy to invite patients to come to India for treatment, but if they are treated in their own country, they will be happier. There’s need to let them be treated here. We come with our technology. But technology comes with money. It doesn’t come without money,” he stated, adding that the hospital has 54 hospitals in India and experts who are among the best in the world Research shows that almost 50 percent of outbound medical tourism in Nigeria goes to India.
India remains among the best in this area, as the country is famed with latest technological research on healthcare. Skullbase surgeon “We are trying to collaborate more with Nigerian doctors. A number of Nigerians are middle-class and they come for treatment in government hospitals. We can use our expertise to treat them there. When we are collaborating, government should also know what we have and what we can do. We are planning to have a hospital here in a year or two years’ time. “We have people who are coming from India and the UK to treat patients here. When we have collaboration with the government, they can support those patients,” he added. Neck and skullbase surgeon, C. Rayappa, said: “We are here to see what we can do to help Nigeria. What we do is not something extraordinary. We collaborate and exchange information and support each other. Nigeria can expect doctors trained and we can bring knowledge here.”