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‘Nigeria has capacity to treat all medical issues sort for overseas’

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Chief Medical Director, Isolo General Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Godwin Akhabhoa, has said Nigeria has the capacity to treat health issues currently sort overseas.

Akhabhoa, who refuted wrong perceptions about the nation’s healthcare facilities, said this understanding would ensure effective use of facilities that hospitals acquire as travelling abroad does not guarantee the best healthcare.

According to reports, Nigeria spends about N360million on medical tourism yearly. At least 50 per cent of these patients travelling abroad are headed for hospitals in Europe, Asia, America and other parts of the world.

Akhabhoa, during the stakeholders meeting between Isolo General Hospital and patients under the auspices of the Service Charter said people who go abroad are usually attended to by Nigerians and if this tourism continues, the system would not be functional as it should be.“Why do we not value what we have here? There are places like India and other countries in Nigeria that can properly attend to the patient’s need. Everyone has to fight for her own,” he queried.

On the exorbitant cost medical tourism attracts, he said some prefer going to India and pay so much, rather than getting the best healthcare service in the country at a cheaper price.In his words: “If a hospital has services they are sure is standard and patients travel abroad for same procedure or if I bring the best cutting-edge facility here, and it is not properly utilised, you can imagine what happens to the hospital.

“The public need know that this is not the best way to go. We have to build the nation’s healthcare together. You may have the money to go to India but can you pay for your village people and your children to come?”

The CEO said the meeting is to achieve a pact with stakeholders and patients by informing them on what they need to know and get relevant feedback in the process for better service rendering.

Appreciating the Service Charter, he said the relationship with patients formerly were chaotic as it was the way the healthcare provider wanted it, adding that the paradigm shift is now on how best the patients can be served.

“We use this avenue to tailor our services to achieve the best customer satisfaction, with a social contract that is garnered at bringing out the best in each of us, particularly making our patient not only whole, healed and hearty, but also happy,” he added.

On government recent massive investment in health in terms of equipment, he noted that the hospital has upgraded with some facilities that makes it difficult for private hospitals to equate with them, using the best practises expected by ensuring a positive change in relating with patients.

Akhabhoa also recounted that the State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, recently commended the hospital for best performance among other general Hospitals in the state, as it got 70 per cent in client satisfaction and staff welfare, 75 per cent in data management and inventory management, 65 per cent in financial management and governance among others.

Meanwhile, the Isolo General Hospital has its share of the N2.5billion Health Equipment which the state procured for all general hospitals to boost the secondary healthcare system. Some of the 52 different pieces of health equipment received by the hospital included Standing Digital BP machines, Dental X-ray Machine and Neonatal Incubator, A & B Scan Machine, CTG Machine and Manual BP Machines among others.

Promising to maintain this feat, Akhabhoa said the hospital under his leadership would ensure an excellent service by improving on the patients’ complaints so that everyone derives the expected satisfaction.

“I want to supervise the institution that is preferred in this state and even beyond that is what we have been working on to render services that patients appreciate. We want to get to a point whereby no one is unhappy and be a one-stop shop for multi professional service.“We noted that what define us are usually issues which need attention, so we want to get to a point where no one is registering ill feelings. We look forward to having a celebration here in the next meeting,” he added.

Urging patients to respect healthcare provider and pay medical charges promptly, Akhabhoa charged them to inform others about the quality Isolo general hospital has to offer, adding that, the hospital pride itself with the slogan, “Isolo, nothing but the best is good enough for us”.

One of the hospital’s DOT patients, Wahab Olarenwaju, explained how his fears were allayed by one of the doctors who patiently explained his health status to him.A DOT (Directly Observed Treatment) is a short course strategy used to reduce the number of tuberculosis (TB) cases.He said when he got the laboratory result, he was devastated to the point that he began to lose weight fast. His friends and family got so worried that they began to question him.

In his words: “I lost appetite for food and worried a lot. I also noticed that my blood pressure was on a dangerous increase. My weight also dropped from 65kg to below 45kg, believe me, it was not a pleasant experience.

“The doctor I saw that fateful day sat me down and explained in details all I needed to know. That was when I relaxed and took my medications, food and fruits consciously. Within few weeks, I bounced back with sound health. I now weigh 50kg and I am so excited”.


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