By Emmanuel Nweze, Enugu
Association of Radiographers of Nigeria, ARAN, Enugu State Chapter has deplored the high rate of medical tourism abroad by the Nigerian elites.
The group said that if over $1.8 billion spent on medical treatment abroad annually is channelled to the development of the nation’s healthcare system it will reduce the rate of overseas treatment, stressing that citizens are forced to embark on medical tourism in other countries due to lack of equipments in Nigeria health facilities.
In his keynote address at the commemoration of 2018 World Radiography Day with theme: “precision and compassion; Radiographer’s qualities” held in Enugu on Thursday, Prof Kenneth Agwu from the Department of Radiography and Radiology Sciences, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, said that Radiography profession is not being supported by government.
Prof Agwu regretted that Nigeria’s political class and rich men find it easy to go abroad to receive the same attention they could have received in Nigeria if medical facilities were provided in our hospitals.
“We are all aware that most medical tourism are based on diagnosis and they leave Nigeria for treatment abroad because of lack of equipment. If the equipment were brought into this country, we have professionals to take care of their cases in Nigeria.
“Another problem is lack of motivation and good remuneration for medical professionals which has also forced so many of them to relocate abroad and practice; these are issues which all of us are not happy with because we have enough manpower. We have professionals to take care of our problematic in Nigeria but because of lack of equipment they are not available for practice in the country,” he said.
Prof Agwu appealed to government at all levels to equip the health facilities with required medical equipments noting “if all these are available the poor and the rich will equally benefit and live a healthy life. Diseases has no boundary, it doesn’t no whether you are rich or poor so if an average Nigerian can have access to them, it’s going to be better for all of us”.
Earlier in his remark, the State Chairman of ARN, Mr Gregory Omah described Radiography as the eye of medicine.
He said the commemoration is to celebrate the discovery of X-ray which he explained was an accidental discovery that turns around a lot of things in Medicine.
According to him, “Before now, if there is any need to find out something wrong within the body you have to open up but now with X-ray, you can see right inside the person and that is why we say Radiography is the eye of medicine.
“We also want to use the commemoration to create an awareness on Radiography as well as try to encourage students to choose Radiography as a career. Before now people do not know much about Radiography but this is a way of getting people to know about what the Radiography is all about in the medical field,” he said