In a country where a large number of political office holders depend on foreign trips for simple medical issues, the Nigerian government wants to save foreign exchange drain arising from medical tourism.

As usual, they say they are seeking ways to improve efficiency in the operations of public hospitals and re-equip them.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made the statement at a news briefing to commemorate the ”5th World Universal Health Coverage Day,” in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and its partners had developed an operational platform for ensuring that every citizen had access to affordable and comprehensive care in a timely manner.

The minister said that the ministry and its agencies as well as partners were guided by a common vision and goal for Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

He said that efforts were currently on-going to kick-start the first phase of UHC in Abia, Osun, Katsina, Yobe, Edo and Federal Capital Territory.

“We have worked to ensure that routine immunisation coverage has risen from 48 per cent to 57per cent.

“We continue to distribute and educate citizens on the use and maintenance of the long lasting insecticidal-net.

“Another step is the development of a national health insurance scheme for all Nigerians at all levels with robust citizen participation to build confidence.

“FMOH is also working on a universal medical emergency services and ambulance scheme to assure free and immediate emergency treatment of all victims of accident and emergency situations,” he said.

The minister added that the government was deeply committed to increasing investment in Nigeria’s health system to strengthen and improve service delivery.

Nigeria loses huge resources to its citizens travelling out of the country in search of better medical care because of the inefficiency of services in the country.

This is not the first time the federal government would promise paradise in its health sector; the problem is that the promises are never fulfilled after billions of naira have been spent.

Many Nigerians have asked, ‘how about a law that forbids any political office holder from traveling abroad for medical care?’

With this in place, the political will to develop the sector will be created.

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