Medical Tourism a Huge Strain on Our Foreign Reserves – Godwin Emefiele

Godwin Emefiele

Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, has stated that medical tourism places significant pressure on the country’s foreign reserves.

This was expressed by Emefiele at the opening of a new hospital in Ikeja, Lagos. The private sector is being urged to invest in medical facilities in order to increase healthcare access in the country.

According to Emefiele, for every $1 billion spent on medical care overseas, less than $1 billion is available for other key areas of the economy.

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He said;

“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.”

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Emefiele also disclosed that the CBN has earmarked N100 billion to support the healthcare sector but the monetary policy committee said it should move it further up to N200 billion.

He also added;

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



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