Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday a announced plans to establish a referral centre and a 100-bed hospital in Abuja in partnership with the management of Saudi German Hospital, Dubai.
The former Vice President said that the joint venture hospital project has the potential to reduce the spate of medical tourism among Nigerians and provide safe and quality healthcare for the people.
Atiku Abubakar made the disclosure after a meeting with a delegation of the management of Saudi German Hospital, led by Dr. Rajeev Kaushal.
“My meeting with the delegation of the management of Saudi German Hospital led by Dr. Rajeev Kaushal over joint partnership with our company, West Africa Health-Care Company Ltd for the establishment of a 100-bed hospital in Abuja, was very fruitful. The joint venture that we have embarked upon promises to break new grounds in medical services delivery in Nigeria,” the former Vice President, who is also founder of West Africa Health-Care Company Ltd, told journalists.
He said apart from creating much-needed medical and support services jobs, the venture would also facilitate the transfer of skills to Nigerians.
Responding, Dr. Kaushal lamented the high fatality rate from non-communicable diseases in Nigeria, saying that figures from World Health Organisation indicates that over 72,000 cancer patients die annually in the country due to lack of access to quality diagnosis and treatment.
He stressed that the proposed 100-bed hospital would not only be equipped with world class facilities for the provision of safe and quality healthcare services but would also help curb the spate of medical tourism among Nigerians.
“The hospital we are proposing to build in collaboration with West Africa Health-Care Company Ltd being promoted by His Excellency Atiku Abubakar will have all the facilities needed for comprehensive treatment of most non-communicable diseases, especially cancer.
“This initiative will help curb medical tourism among Nigerians, which is very high at the moment. Though it is not possible to fully stop Nigerians from embarking on medical trips abroad, but we can reduce the trend with the establishment of a world class hospital, equipped with modern health facilities for diagnosis and treatment,” he added.
Dr. Kaushal urged Nigerians to maintain a healthy life style by eating balanced diet, exercising regularly, avoiding red meat and tobacco so as to prevent the possibility of having cancer.
Meanwhile, Semira Dikbas, International Patient Affairs Advisor of the Referral Centre located in Maitama area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) disclosed that the first step in the joint initiative between Atiku and Saudi German Hospital is in the final stages and would soon be commissioned. The Referral Centre, she said, would be fully equipped to carry out Cancer diagnosis and, other health examinations.
“The proposed Referral Center is expected to act as a bridge between Nigerians and the Saudi German Hospital located in Dubai wherein there will be monthly visits of specialized doctors from Dubai and also occasional health check up programmes.
“Once the patient is presented at the center, an initial diagnosis will be done and those who require further medical management will be referred to the Dubai Hospital. All the required logistics starting from Visa/Flight Booking/Hotel Accommodation and all other travelling concerns of the patient will be taken care of by a dedicated team from the hospital located at Dubai,” she said.