Lafia — The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, yesterday said the Federal Government was mulling establishment of specialised centres to handle cardiovascular and thoracic surgeries in a bid to check medical tourism.
Speaking at the second yearly general meeting (AGM) and scientific conference of the Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons of Nigeria (ACTSON) with the theme, Sustainable cardiovascular surgery in Nigeria: Leaning from the experience of regional centres in Lafia, Nasarawa State, Adewole observed that the brain drain in the sector was affecting the nation negatively.
Represented by the Director, Health Services in the ministry, Dr. Joseph Amedu, the minister said government would encourage professionals to painstakingly address the noticeable health challenges in the country.
"Nigerians are in the best position to take care of fellow Nigerians and we know that we have what it takes to properly take care of cardiac diseases in Nigeria," he stated.
Adewole said the programme was to ensure that cardiac surgeries and diseases were taken care of within the shores of the most populous black nation.
President of the association, Dr. Bode Falashe, said: "We have had one year in the house to develop the association.
"Like in most associations, we need to exchange ideas to map out a vision for the body in conferences and meetings. This is our annual general meeting.
"Cardiovascular and thoracic surgery is available in Nigeria. We have the surgery taking place in the public and the private sectors. The patients can benefit from the skills available for members of the association."
Falashe listed some of the challenges confronting the organisation to include inadequate surgeons, training, infrastructure and funding.