- as National Hospital successfully carried out six OHS
to discourage medical tourism through Diasporan collaboration
The Diasporan desk of the Federal Ministry of Health has assured of Federal Government’s determined commitment in discouraging medical tourism through a coordinated Open Heart Surgery (OHS) while working with Nigerian doctors in the Diaspora.
It is on record that Nigerians preferred destinations for medical attention are India, Pakistan and European countries, where they seek attention in OHS, with cost put at between N6 million and N8 million.
But currently, Jafaru Momoh, chief medical director (CMD) at the National Hospital Abuja, yesterday, informed of a seamless collaboration between the management of the hospital with a non-governmental organisation – ‘Hospital for Humanity,’ which had successfully carried out six OHS on six patients within a week.
According to the CMD, “the surgery was done by the management of the National Hospital Abuja in collaboration with the experts cardio-thoracic team led by Nigeria Diasporans Dr. Segun Ajayi, and Dr. Ikenna Omeje. While the National Hospital team of experts is coordinated by Iretiola Babaniyi.
“The idea to recommence OHS arose out of the necessity to assist many Nigerians who cannot afford to travel abroad for medical treatment, thereby mitigating the burden of medical tourism on our economy, which costs the nation huge foreign exchange.”
Speaking further, he said “it is in this regard that the National Hospital has also recently recommenced other highly specialised services in many subspecialty such as orthopaedic surgery (knee and hip replacements), radiotherapy and nuclear medicine (cancer treatment), comprehensive medical check-up services, and have further ensured the sustenance of our in-vitro-fertilisation.”
In his contribution, Segun Ajayi, who led the Diasporan team for the surgery, said: “We have a target of successful surgery of 200 patients within a year. We intend also to build capacity for sustainability for a longer period of eight years as such to ensure our home doctors take up from where we stop.”
Meanwhile, Michael Adegboyega Oladimeji, who spoke on behalf of the parents of the children that had the OHS, lauded the initiative of the Federal Government in wooing Diaporans back home to replicate their good works, and also praised the professionalism of the National Hospital Abuja management.
“My daughter is making quick recovery and to God be the glory. She is healed and already playing computer games after the surgery. We would soon be discharged,” he said
Earlier in his remarks, the CMD said the cost efficiency was highly subsidised to make it affordable for Nigerians who cannot afford the luxury of outside travel.