Reports Reveals Medical Tourism Gulped $6.23m

Nigeria spent a total of $6.23m on foreign healthcare-related services from January to August 22, 2023.

This is according to a report obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria on the amount spent on health-related and social services under the sectoral utilisation for transactions valid for foreign exchange.

According to the report, $0.17m was spent on foreign health-related services in January while $0.14m was spent in February.

The spending increased in March and April to $0.43m and $3.02m respectively.

The CBN report also showed that the country spent $0.79m in May and dropped to $0.42m in June.

The amount spent peaked in July at $0.46m and increased to $0.80m in August.

The report states that the amount for the eight months this year is more that the amount spent ($1.47m) for the same period in 2021.

Meanwhile, stakeholders have lamented poor access to forex for the importation and manufacturing of essential medicines.

The Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria, in a communiqué issued in September, had said some of the challenges faced by pharmaceutical industries include lack of infrastructure, inconsistent and mismanaged government policies, supply chain challenges, weak industrial linkages, weak technology, and engineering base, poor access to forex, lack of petrochemical industries to enable Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients production as well as inadequate incentives.

“NAIP, therefore, calls on the Nigerian government to resolve the lingering crisis in securing forex for the importation and manufacturing of essential medicines as this is becoming one of the greatest threats to the growth of the Pharma Industry in Nigeria,” it said.

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