The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has called for interest-free loans for its members to import duty-free hospital equipment, boost the health sector and curtail the menace of brain drain in the country.
Ekpe Phillips, the chairman, of NMA FCT chapter, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
He said that the Indian government saw a need to address the scourge and quickly offered her medical practitioners’ interest-free loans to import technological driven equipment.
“Let me tell you what India did. India encouraged all those, who had left to come back to India and gave them interest-free loans.
“So they imported technology, medical know-how in India and today India is benefiting from medical tourists. India makes billions of dollars on a yearly basis from medical tourism,’’ Phillips said.
He said that Nigeria was one of the beneficiaries of India’s move, adding that Nigeria lost over one million dollars a year to medical tourism which is more than the health budget for Nigeria.
He added that interest-free loans for medical practitioners are one way to revamp the health sector.
“One truth is this, even if you travel abroad to access treatment, you are also faced with the problem of having to travel always for follow up appointments.”