Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has stated that with the creation of world-class healthcare facilities in Nigeria, the country would become a destination for medical tourism, as well as reverse the brain drain in the health sector.
On Tuesday, the Minister addressed the media during a tour of the Duchess International Hospital in Lagos.
He claims that the world-class healthcare facilities that are growing up in Nigeria would reduce medical tourism overseas, save foreign reserves, and generate jobs.
“Today, we are here at the Duchess International Hospital. During the guided tour, I am sure you all saw that this is indeed a purpose-built, state-of-the-art, 100-bed hospital, which is aimed at delivering the highest standard of healthcare, using the most advanced technology and treatments to provide Nigerians with the best medical expertise available anywhere in the world,” he said.
According to available data, Nigerians spend between $1.2 billion and $1.6 billion on medical tourism each year, which Alhaji Mohammed described as a significant drain on the country’s foreign reserves.
He expressed excitement that many of the physicians at Duchess International Hospital, a Reddington Hospital subsidiary, are Nigerians who had trained and worked overseas but had now opted to return home due to the availability of healthcare facilities with excellent equipment and a decent work environment.
According to the Minister, as part of its engagement in the health sector, the Federal Government offered financial support for Duchess International Hospital through the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Industry.
”This is not new. Recall that in the wake of Covid-19, the CBN set up the N100 billion Healthcare Sector Intervention Fund, now expanded to N200 billion, to provide credit support for the healthcare sector through long-term, low-cost financing,” he said.
He listed other interventions by the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), including a total of $22.5 million which was spent on establishing two diagnostic centres in Kano and Umuahia ($5.5 million each) and the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre in Lagos ($11.5 million).
“The essence of these financial interventions and projects in the critical healthcare sector is to fast-track the evolvement of world-class healthcare facilities like the Duchess International Hospital.
With that, we can conserve our foreign reserves, earn foreign exchange for the country, create jobs, reverse brain drain, become a destination for medical tourists and also ensure affordable and standard healthcare for Nigerians,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed commended the management of the hospital for making their world-class services affordable and accessible to ordinary Nigerians, particularly with the launching of the ‘World Class Affordable Healthcare Programme that coincided with the visit of the Minister and the over 30 journalists who accompanied him on the tour.
“With what we have seen here today and the programme that has just been launched, Nigerians can now get access to affordable and world class treatment in whatever is ailing them in many areas, including emergency medicine, women’s health, paediatric care, cardiovascular medicine, kidney dialysis, dental treatment, eye care, etc,” he said.
The Minister said the visit to the hospital was in continuation of the media tour of the development projects of the Buhari Administration, disclosing that in the past 40 days, he had taken the media on a tour of the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Project as well as the Dangote Fertilizer Company in Lagos; the Lekki Deep Seaport and the Duchess Hospital, in addition to the tour of road, rail, bridge and other projects across the country.
”The essence of these tours is to showcase what this Administration has achieved in the various sectors. Even where the project is private-sector driven, the Federal Government has either provided the enabling environment or, in some cases, supported such projects with funding,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Dr. Tokunbo Shitta-Bey, who conducted the Minister around the hospital, said the multi-specialist hospital, which is already attracting foreigners coming for treatment, is poised to make its advanced elite service affordable and accessible to Nigerians, who would pay only N5,000 for registration and 5,000 for consultation.
He said the hospital, which was commissioned on 22 Oct. 2021 by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is committed to immediate and open access to emergency and critical care services, as well as a wide range of specialist-led services and treatment.
The Minister and his team were conducted around the various departments of the hospital, including the Cardiology Centre, Eyecare clinic, Learning and Development Centre, ENT Department, Surgical and Gynecology Ward, Fully-automated lab, Intensive and Critical care unit, Endoscopy unit, Women and Children Ward, Dialysis Centre, Dental Unit, Pharmacy, Surgical Theatre (Modular and automated), Radiology Department and Emergency Room.
‘Peter Obi Is The Man Of The Moment’ – Labour Party Chair Asks Kwankwaso To Take The Vice Presidency
JULIUS Abure, the National Chairman of Labour Party has stated that it is in the interest of the presidential candidate...Read more
GOVERNOR Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has revealed the criteria that will form the basis for selection of a running...Read more
I propose to address this topic from two directions; one the legal, and the other, the moral. And from history,...Read more
A former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, on Saturday blamed the crisis which had engulfed the Peoples Democratic Party...Read more
ALL three Edo senators who aligned with the Governor Godwin Obaseki led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP have...Read more
THE Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is resolved to unseat...Read more
SENATOR representing Lagos east, Tokunbo Abiru has asked residents of the state to “step-up civic advocacy” to ensure proper voter...Read more
REV. Chris Okotie, Pastor of the Household of God Church has stated that Nigerians should be allowed to decide whether...Read more
Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, has been sentenced to 7 years imprisonment....Read more
PRESIDENTIAL candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore has announced Haruna Magashi as his running mate for the...Read more
Makarfi: PDP Will Wins 2023, Says Wike Remains The Pillar Of Party, Urges Atiku To Reach Out To Wike Immediately.
A FORMER Governor of Kaduna State and Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, on Thursday, said that...Read more