Although the Federal Government through the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, and some other well-meaning Nigerians have decried the rate at which Nigerians seek medical treatment abroad, while some measures are being taken to stem the tide, Dr Ufuoma Okotete, the Managing Director of Diamond Helix, a Lagos-based firm that helps Nigerians seeking overseas treatment to connect with good hospitals and doctors abroad, has said that with the current state of the nation's health sector, it is practically impossible to stop Nigerians from traveling abroad for medical treatment.
Okotete, who spoke to journalists recently during a training programme organised by the firm in conjunction with Apollo Hospital in India, declared that most of the hospitals in the country could not attend to complex health problems such as brain surgery, open heart surgery, complex eye problems, and micro dissection surgery.
She also said that “so, for the treatment of those cases, we have a partnership with Apollo Hospital, India amongst other partners in Dubai, Germany, United Kingdom and so on. This is in order to help our people going abroad for treatment on the choice of proper centre and doctors.
“What we lack in Nigeria is the infrastructure. If you bring these doctors to Nigeria to come and carry out these surgeries here, they will need technical assistance, a team of professionals such as assistant doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to do the job; well equipped Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to take care of the patient before the patient gets well; many of these things are found lacking in the Nigerian society for now.”