Lagos is experiencing a surge in medical tourism, attracting individuals from the UK, US, and Canada.
Faced with lengthy waiting lists in their home countries, people are opting for surgeries in Nigeria, driven predominantly by the cost advantage, with procedures being 30-50% cheaper due to favorable exchange rates.
Recognizing the burgeoning trend, there’s need for entrepreneurs to start seizing the opportunity to build concierge businesses tailored to medical tourists.
These services include short-term medical accommodations for recovery, home care and ambulatory nursing, transportation systems, nutrition and feeding support at home, and care assistants. This innovative approach not only addresses the healthcare needs of international visitors but also contributes to the growth of a specialized sector within the tourism industry.
The shift towards seeking medical help across borders has become a global phenomenon, encompassing inbound, domestic, and outbound medical tourism. Recent estimates suggest that Africans spend approximately $6 billion annually on health tourism, with Nigerians accounting for $2 billion of that expenditure. Despite the availability of quality healthcare facilities within Nigeria, the challenge lies in raising awareness about these services.
Recognizing the potential of this emerging sector, the Medical Tourism Expo organized by AKWAABA African Travel Market aims to introduce high-quality healthcare opportunities to key players in the African tourism and travel industry. The event provides a platform to showcase the medical advancements, address global economic inequities, and explore the legal landscape surrounding healthcare services across borders.
Statistics reveal that 60% of medical tourism abroad is driven by the demand for treatments in specialties such as Oncology, Orthopedics, Nephrology, and Cardiology. This emphasizes the significance of medical tourism and its impact on the overall growth of the tourism and travel industry.
Akwaaba African Travel Market, West Africa’s biggest tourism exhibition, recognized this potential three years ago and has since partnered with Lagos State to further explore and harness the business of medical tourism in Nigeria and Africa at large.
The collaborative efforts, exemplified by exhibitors from Turkey, Ghana, and other nations, underscore the $2 billion worth of business opportunities within the medical tourism sector in Nigeria. As the industry continues to evolve, such initiatives contribute to positioning Lagos as a hub for quality healthcare services and a prime destination for medical tourism in Africa.