Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), a leading microfinance bank an institution in Africa said its multi-billion multi-specialist hospital in Benin, Edo State capital will address medical tourism in the Country.
The 70-bed hospital was commissioned by Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor.
The hospital named “Benin Medical Care Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, seeks to reduce medical tourism by Nigerians by providing access to world-class medical diagnostics and solutions.
Speaking at the commissioning, Godwin Ehigiamusoe, chairman, the board of directors of the hospital said the medical care also seeks to enhance the health status of Nigerians, especially in Benin City and environs through the provision of quality medical services that are accessible and affordable.
Ehigiamusoe said the organization was motivated to set up the medical facility to address preventable deaths arising from inadequate medical.
He also listed pauperization arising from poor Nigerians selling off assets in order to access quality diagnostic service, lack of access to quality healthcare in rural communities create access to excellent medical services to the mass of Nigerians among the reasons for the establishment of the hospital.
“Benin Medical Care which is a multi-specialist entity envisaged to be a center of excellence in medical care in the region. BMC shall in conjunction with LAPO-NGO, run community health outreach programmes.
“Major components of the programme shall include rural mobile clinics which shall provide opportunities for rural dwellers to have access to basic medical services
“Mobile phone health services which shall enable patients in remote communities to be reached with basic medical services through digital channels and community-based health insurance scheme through which cost of access to health services will be lowered for needy individuals.
“BMC diagnostics which is well-resourced entity is to provide excellent diagnostic services, state- of- the – art facilities include 1-5T MRI, 64 slice CT Scan, digital mammography, 40 ultrasound scan, digital X-rays, ECG as well as fluoroscopy, and fully automated laboratory services”, he said.
He opined that achieving an acceptable level of access to healthcare in Nigeria, especially in rural communities, would require urgent and substantial involvement of non – state actors such as the private sector, non – government organizations and international development organizations.
He, however, noted that with adequate planning and dedication to excellent services the double bottom-line of profit and social goal can be achieved in healthcare management.
Speaking before commissioning the medical facility, Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki commended Godwin Ehigiamusoe and the management of LAPO for the foresight in establishing the hospital in the state.
Obaseki noted that the BMC will validate the effort his administration has made in the health sector.
He said his administration has launched the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme (Edo-HIP) and the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) to facilitate healthcare delivery in the state.
According to him, in most part of the world, the bulk of medical providers are from the private sectors while the government focuses on policies and primary healthcare delivery system, the private sector comes up with the investment in specialized areas of healthcare provision”, he stated.
The governor, who however added that an average of 20,000 Nigerians travel abroad every year for medical assistance and the money spent runs into millions of dollars opined that it is possible for “us in Nigeria to get the same quality of care that these people are traveling to other parts of the world to receive”.
IDRIS UMAR MOMOH, Benin