Medical tourism kicked off the third day of the 19th Akwaaba Travel Market with medical tourism delegates from Ghana and Turkey meeting participants at the event and buttressing the potentials of the market especially in Nigeria.
Medical tourism, according to many practitioners gives a lot of opportunities for privacy, while offering a vast array of expertise ranging from life threatening situations from stroke management, gynaecology, paediatrics, reconstructive to cosmetic surgery.
At the panellist session, Consultant Gynaecologist with Britannica Medical Centre, Dr. Coby Appiah who was in the panel said medical tourism was inevitable as Nigeria according to data available online spends between $1-$10bn conservatively
Dr. Appiah who is also the president of African Medical Tourism Council said by virtue of the traffic into Ghana with regards medical tourism the council now acts like a regulator.
According to him, Ghana is currently collating data as medical traffic into that country is growing organically but with the collation, he feels, they can serve their foreign clientele better and ease the sometimes difficult process for them.
He stressed that, ” African Medical Tourism Council is a regulator of hospitals that do medical tourism in Ghana. It’s easy to track any and make corrections to any situation. These are important. What is the data of people coming into Ghana and the revenue, if you look online, Nigerians spend $1bn -$10bn on medical tourism and since independence a lot of people have come to Ghana for medical tourism. Nigerians, Liberians, Sierra Leone.. .while people have come organically we now decided to help them to make their journey easier”
“We know people come but we don’t know the numbers. Nigeria is a population of 240 million which is half the population of the subregion put at approximately 440 million. So the Nigerian market is a huge potential and through data sharing must develop the subregion.
According to him, if the Ghana hospitals work together with Turkish hospital, they will improve knowledge base and specialisation and two countries will grow together.