EconomyHealthNewsMedical Tourism Straining Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves – CBN

LAGOS —The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said medical tourism is taking a toll on the country’s foreign reserves.

At the launch of Duchess International Hospital, a newly built 100-suit health facility located in Ikeja, Lagos, on Sunday, Emefiele conceded this.

He urged private sector operators to invest in medical facilities to improve access to healthcare in the country.

“Medical tourism puts a huge strain on our foreign reserves, and more importantly, for every $1bn allocated to medical treatment abroad, there is less than $1bn that could be available to other critical sectors of our economy.

“As part of this effort, the CBN and select private sector stakeholders supported COVID-19 intervention initiatives through CACOVID.”

“When we started COVID-19 intervention initiatives, the CBN set aside N100bn to support the healthcare sector, but upon the rise in demand, we have disbursed N107.7bn, supporting 114 healthcare projects which include medical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, dental services, eye clinics both private and public hospital – just to mention a few,” he said.

He noted that a sum of N100 billion had been earmarked by the apex bank to support the healthcare sector but the monetary policy committee and the fund should be moved further up to N200 billion.

“We would continue to do whatever can be done to support healthcare,” he noted.

Beloved John (Staff Writer)

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