President Muhammadu Buhari has said his country loses $1.1bn (£837m) every year to medical tourism, local media reports say.

In a speech to policy makers read out on his behalf, Mr Buhari said that the gaps in universal healthcare provision, the Vanguard newspaper reports.

Several newspapers quote the president as saying in the speech:

“Our health sector is still characterised by low response to public health emergencies, inability to combat outbreak of deadly diseases and mass migration of medical personnel out of the country.”

“This has resulted in increasing medical tourism by Nigerians in which Nigeria loses over 400bn naira ($1.1bn) on an annual basis.”

At his own expense, president Buhari himself made several trips to the UK for medical reasons during his first term, resulting in a long absence from office.

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