In an effort to reduce the number of Nigerians travelling abroad for medical reasons regularly, the Federal Government is considering plans to construct a 1,687-bed-hospital, valued at $650 million in the Federal Capital Territory.
The hospital, to be named Abuja Medical City, is expected to be completed between 24 and 36 months.
A representative of IBT Group, promoters of the hospital project, Daniel Toledano told Punch after making a presentation on the project to the Minister of Health that the hospital will be the first of its kind in Africa. He added that it will make Nigeria a medical tourists centre in Africa in terms of capacity and personnel to cater for, at least, 2,040,000 patients at a time.
According to the Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, the proposed 1,687-bed hospital would include 763 beds for Trauma Centre, 300 beds for Amenities care pavilion, 524 beds for Pediatric section and 100 beds for Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation section.
Defining the operational model for the proposed hospital, Dr. Isioma Okobah, a Nigerian doctor based in Atlanta-Georgia in the United States of America told Punch, “We can attract our doctors in the Diaspora back home and there won’t be need for medical tourism abroad because they will provide the same services here and get the same pay they are getting now.”
Toledano noted that Nigeria loses over $500m yearly to medical tourism abroad, and that the capital plight per patient ranged between $20,000 and $40,000 per trip. “The objectives of the project include provision of the first level three medical care facility in Nigeria and to relocate high-complexity medical care to Abuja Medical City,” he was quoted as saying.
But to ensure the materialisation of the hospital, it has to scale the Federal Government’s procurement process.
This is a laudable initiative that will change the face of health care provision in Nigeria. We sincerely hope it becomes a reality.
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