The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said on Thursday in Abeokuta that the Federal Government would build 10,000 functional primary healthcare centres across the country.
Ehanire, who disclosed this during his familiarisation visit to the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, said constructing more healthcare centres would reduce pressure on tertiary health institutions.
He noted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to tackling medical tourism.
According to him, the country loses an estimated one billion dollars annually as a result of Nigerians travelling abroad to get the desired medical services.
The minister said as part of the government’s agenda, over 10,000 functional primary healthcare centres would be established in various parts of the country.
This, according to him, would help to reduce the pressure on tertiary health institutions, which would be repositioned to address health challenges often treated in foreign countries.
“We are losing estimated one billion dollars on Nigerians going abroad to get treatment. We have tertiary hospitals that should be good enough to handle what most Nigerians go abroad for.
“What we should do is to ensure training and retraining of staff, provide equipment and ensure proper modern service delivery; we must have patient-centred healthcare service,” he said.
Ehanire pointed out that the Federal Government was trying hard to generate resources from all areas to fund the health sector amidst the competing needs and priorities of the nation.
Dr Dapo Sotiloye, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, said the hospital needed funds for some of its vital capital projects, including completion of water schemes, reticulation of electricity, among others.
He said that within its short period of existence, the hospital has impacted positively on the growth of medicine in the country and has earned some local and international recognition.