Nigeria’s population utilizes private health services and spends an enormous out-of-pocket share toward health expenditures, a sizable part of it is spent on low-quality services and products. Each year, Nigeria loses billions of dollars to foreign medical tourism. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers (2016) report, Nigerians spend $1 billion annually on medical tourism with 60% of it on four key specialties namely: oncology, orthopedics, nephrology and cardiology. This is nearly 20% of the total government spending on public health sector for the year.
Countries such as India and South Africa have become medial tourism destinations for Nigerians that can afford private foreign healthcare. According to the Indian High Commission in Nigeria, 18,000 (47%) of Nigerians that visited India in the year 2012 alone did so for medical treatments with an estimated cost of N41.6 billion (US$260 million) in foreign exchange in the process (Daily Independent Newspaper, 2014).
There are opportunities for foreign investments in the healthcare sector across the entire value chain including continued education for healthcare workers. Health care providers need to be properly trained to ensure maximum customer service especially in government hospitals since they cater to Nigerians with lesser incomes.
The importance of public private partnerships is increasing due to the revitalization of the healthcare industry and the new hospital market, with the government often providing land for the project as well as security for investments.
Energy/Power sector is also important to the success of healthcare. If there is adequate power in the country, healthcare infrastructure will greatly improve as well.
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