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Medical tourism: Nigerians spend N200m monthly in German hospitals

From FRED ITUA, Abuja

The Managing Director of Martreach Global Health Care Services in the nation’s capital, Abuja, Mr. Martins Chidi Okonkwo at the weekend told newsmen that Nigerians who go to Germany for medical treatments spend over N200 million monthly.

According to Mr. Okonkwo who has been a medical tourist facilitator since 1997, an average Nigerian spends minimum of $20,000 for treatment in Germany and in some other parts of Europe. He revealed the reason why many Nigerian elites prefer to go to Germany for medical treatments even when there are better facilities in other parts of Western Europe. “Nigerian politicians prefer Germany because German hospitals maintain secrecy agreement with their patients,” Okonkwo noted. “Government cannot stop the elites from travelling abroad for medical treatment until we make investments in our healthcare.”

While adding that the German government issues more than 50,000 medical visas to foreigners every year, he said that Nigerian elites account for the highest number of recipients of these visas in Africa and among the highest in the world. Making further revelations, he said Nigeria inspite of its huge population doesn’t have any air ambulance. He lamented that this ought not to be so if Nigeria places high premium on the lives of its citizens.

He further maintained that medical tourism is not peculiar to Nigeria, but emphasised on the need to stem the tide by building a strong healthcare system. “At the moment, 90 percent of Nigerian hospitals cannot carry out very serious medical procedure as we still hope to catch up in a very short time. These and many other reasons are why Nigerians still prefer to travel to seek medical help abroad,” he stated.

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4 Comments

  1. Frank Regent November 12, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Hospitals and lives are not important to Nigerian leaders. Why should it be? They can obtain visas and travel to Germany. In six hours they are at the hospital. They have the funds and the wherewithal. What they forget is that when they finally step out of the vault of the government, flying to Germany may become too expensive. As long as PDP is in power, Nigeria will remain status quo for the next twenty years.

  2. nwaokike k November 12, 2012 at 4:47 am

    This is a big shame. The president say : and I quote in last 2years Nigeria can now bost of quality cheep and affordable health care in Nigeria. Then how come nigerians among these people or do they use the visas to take our to forin banks. Or Is the presidant a lieyer?

  3. Adeyeye Bolarinwa November 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Nwaokike, go back to school. Stop confusing us with your English.

  4. Adeyeye Bolarinwa November 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Nwaokike, go back to school. Stop confusing us with your English language.

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