By Charles Nwaoguji
Stakeholders in medical sector has called on the federal government to gave zero percent import duty on medical equipment being imported into the country in order to boost the healthcare sector.
They said that presently the healthcare sector is going through difficult time in acquiring medical equipment to treat patients.
According to the Managing Director of Swiss Biostadt Limited, Mr. Emma Ajayi, the healthcare sector will do better, if the government could give them wavier in the imported medical equipment, adding that most of the hospital in the country are actually facing hard time in importing medical equipment into the country because of high cost of import duty.
Ajayi, who stated this at just concluded Medic West Africa Exhibition, held in Lagos, said government should pay proper attention to healthcare sector by providing enable environment .
On why some Nigerians travel abroad for medical check-up, he said, it is very simple, they travel for medical tourism because of the health facilities available over there .
He noted that if government could encourage private sector to invest into medical equipment by giving them a reduced import duties, it would go along way.
“For us as a company , we are ready to support the government in achieving this. Our partners in abroad are ready to support this noble course. As I talk to you now, our foreign partners has partnering with National Orthopaedic Hospital (NOH) to establish world class medical centre in Lagos.
Also speaking at the event, the project Manager Exhibitions Siemens Healthineers, Mr. Roland Konig said that the healthcare in Nigeria needs attentions for it to move forward.
Konig said that major challenges facing the healthcare is the ability for the services providers to acquire medical equipment, because it is capital intensive.
He stated that because of this, his company has to come to Nigeria to assist the service providers in acquiring the medical equipment in affordable price.
“We are here in Nigeria to assist every health service providers to have the best of medical equipment at reduced and affordable price,” he said.
He noted that his company in collaboration with Swiss Biostadt in Nigeria are ready to assist every service provider to have affordable hospital equipment to do their jobs.
Speaking in the same vein, the General Manager of healthcare of Swiss Biostadt Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Otitoloju said that there is the need for the government to pay proper attention to healthcare sector by providing enable environment for the sector to strive.
Commenting on health insurance scheme, Otitoloju said that the health insurance scheme is not working fine.
“The way this scheme can work , he said is for the government to look into this scheme very well and provide the enable environment for it to strive,” he stated.
He noted that it is possible for the scheme to succeed in Nigeria as it has succeded in other part of world, if all hand can be on desk, adding that private sector should come in and more investment in the scheme.