The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has blamed the neglect of health facilities across the country for the rising rate of medical tourism, particularly by the elites.
The association cited the conviction of former Deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice, and Obinna Obeta, a doctor, in the United Kingdom as an avoidable situation ‘as procedures for organ transplantation could have been professionally and ethically carried out in-country’.
The NMA, while urging doctors and dentists to abide by ethics guiding the medical profession, also admonished them to be conversant with both national and international guidelines for organ donation, harvesting and transplantation, including Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART), as such guidelines vary from one country to another.
A communiqué by its President, Dr. Uche Ojinmah, after its 63rd Annual Conference and Delegates’ Meeting (AGC/DM) in Taraba State, urged government at all levels to prioritise healthcare, show better political commitment to healthcare financing, pay better and competitive salaries, provide better work environment, rejig the security architecture to protect lives and property, provide access to social amenities and increase opportunities for doctors in Nigeria.
The communiqué reads: “Experts and facilities that could handle such organ transplantation are available in Nigeria, but usually spurned by our government officials in preference for medical tourism.
“Nigerians should know that the details of the above guidelines also vary from one country to another. We also implore the Federal Government to protect poor and vulnerable Nigerians from exploitation for organ donation. The government should also establish world-class health facilities in Nigeria, so our leaders can shun unnecessary medical tourism.”
SOURCE: The Nation