By G9ija

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, today, said there was no longer the need for anyone to travel abroad to seek medical attention.

He said this after a guided tour of Duchess International Hospital in Ikeja area of Lagos.

He expressed delight that the hospital was one the projects the Federal Government has supported to succeed. He explained that even where the project is private-sector driven, the government has either provided the enabling environment or, in some cases, supported with funding.

He described the 100-bed facility as purpose-built, state-of-the-art, which is aimed at delivering the highest standard of health care, using the most advanced technology and treatments to provide Nigerians with the best medical expertise available anywhere in the world.

He stated that patients were already coming in from other countries, stressing that it was a one-stop shop for comprehensive medical treatments.

“The Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Industry (BOI), provided financial support for Duchess International Hospital. 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,” the minister said.

According to him, with that, Nigeria can conserve its foreign reserves, earn foreign exchange, create jobs, reverse brain drain, become a destination for medical tourists and also ensure affordable and standard healthcare for Nigerians.

“According to available records, Nigerians spend between USD1.2 and USD1.6 billion on medical tourism. That’s a huge drain on our foreign reserves. Also, in order to retain doctors, our health care facilities must be equipped to world standard level and doctors and other healthcare workers must be adequately remunerated.

“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.

The chief executive officer of the hospital, Dr. Adetokunbo Shitta-Bey, said the vision and mission of the hospital was to provide accessible, affordable and comprehensive health care to Nigerians irrespective of their status.

He corroborated the minister’s position that Nigerians now have no reason to travel outside the country for medical care. Considering the modern facilities and the expertise at the hospital, he said patients would always feel at home throughout hours or days in admission.

The facilities toured were Cardiology center, Eye care, Learning and Development Centre, ENT, Surgical and Gynecology Ward, Automated laboratory, Intensive and Critical Care Unit, Endoscopy Unit, Women and Children Ward, Dialysis Centre, Dental Unit, Pharmacy, Play area for children, Surgical Theatre (Modular and automated), Radiology Department, Emergency Room and Duchess Cafe.