‘Medical Tourism Isn’t Normal, Our Health Outcomes Should Be Improved’ — Health Minister, Ali Pate

Ali Pate

Ali Pate, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, on Monday, has stressed the need to improve the country’s health outcomes so as to end medical tourism by Nigerians.

Speaking at his maiden meeting with Kachollom Daju, the permanent secretary at the Health Ministry, Pate promising to improve healthcare services.

He said, “When you fly from Addis Ababa to New Delhi you see a lot of people going for medical tourism and it is not a thing we in the health sector should rest on our oars and regard as normal.

“We should do something about it and improve our health outcomes.

“It is important that we deal with the issues of governance to improve the governance of health.

“The federal government, states and local governments and other stakeholders will work together, including those who may be differently abled in the construct of health policy and implementation.”

According to Pate, the economic value chain existing in the health sector should be harnessed, adding that it needs to be carefully crafted with every stakeholder involved in all parts of the conversation.

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“There is an important signal in the choice of those assigned the health portfolio, and we are very excited about that.

“I think the fact that the president also included social welfare in the health portfolio indicates he also considers the people as the basis; the foundational element for what his administration tries to do.

“This is because the welfare of the people is linked to their health; their health and well-being are interconnected right from gestation to childhood, to adulthood to elderly, and all across the life cycle.

“We need to grow our economy, but we also need to attend to the people and health is an important component of that and I think that is one signal that is important.

“The president is the driver and we will follow and we will work hard to ensure that our driver takes us to the desired destination; the vision that he has of transforming this country.

“The president realises that Nigerians are eager to feel the impact of government so that people feel the difference that his `Renewed Hope’ agenda actually begins to touch the lives of people and we are right where it can be done,” the minister added.