BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
THE Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has identified medical tourism as a potential foreign exchange earner for the country.
Medical tourism can be a catalyst of other related sectors such as hospitality, specialised transport sector and air transport, says ZDA board Chairman, Fisho Mwale.
Mr Mwale observed that medical tourism had huge potential to earn the country foreign exchange while enhancing patient care, staff development, and technology transfer.
He said Global Markets Insights reported that medical tourism was valued at US$19 billion in 2018, and was estimated to witness more that 6.5 percent growth between now and 2025, owing to the current global health challenges.
The board chairman was speaking when he received Medland Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr Mohammed El Sahili at his office.
“Medical tourism is a great opportunity for Medland Hospital take advantage of, and as an agency that promotes economic growth and development, health sector growth remains an important sector in the attainment of positive social and economic impact in view of the Vision 2030,” Mr Mwale said.
The board chairman assured Medland hospital of ZDA’s support in facilitating and making their investment worthwhile in Zambia for the benefit of every Zambian.
Medland Hospital Chief, Dr Sahili thanked the Agency for the good relation his hospital has enjoyed.
Dr Sahili said his hospital was a multi speciality hospital offering specialised and comprehensive medical services of international standards in the heart of Lusaka.
He further echoed the need to take advantage of medical tourism as a country and make use of the specialised services which his hospital and others offer in the country.
“It would be great to come up with a framework that will support medical tourism such as the medical tourism council which to look at the interest of health care providers and maintain standards in order to attract evacuations from other countries,” Dr Sahili said.