By Dayo Adesulu
The Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Professor, Temitope Alonge has lamented the rate at which Nigerian patients patronise foreign hospital, stating that many Doctors in Nigeria refer patients to oversea hospitals because of the commissions they get for such referrals.
Alonge who spoke on Thursday, during the commissioning of Tri-State Heart and Cardiovascular Centre at Babcock University, said “some unscrupulous Nigerian doctors have abandoned credible ways of amassing wealth and have become the conduit of medical tourism by providing negative reports about the health care service centres in Nigeria in order to justify referring a patient.”
“The foreign hospitals have struck deals with the referring Nigerian doctors who ultimately get the full treatment fee on the sixth patient with a particular ailment like congenital heart diseases.”
According to him, seeking health care wherever and whenever as long as you have the means should not be seen as emanating from the incompetence of the government alone, adding that this “disgraceful act is primarily engineered and fuelled by Nigerian businessmen and health care workers who are predominantly doctors.”
Stressing the need for the federal government to invest massively in health care centres, he disclosed that while India has 120 cancer centres, Nigeria has none.
The Chief Medical Director who described the rising morbidity and mortality rate as worse said that while Nigeria is still battling with endemic communicable diseases, it has however, joined the league of nations with non communicable diseases.
“Adoption of western life style with gross indiscipline as regards dietary discretion, lack of exercise increasing stress levels are fore runners of diabetes mellitus and hypertension and their accompanying complications,” he added.