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Igbobi hospital seeks improvement in health insurance, services


National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.

National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.

The management of the National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi (NOHI), Lagos, has called for efforts to boost the number of enrollees in the nation’s health insurance scheme, noting that such improvement would help to defray the cost treatment of most patients in need of othopaedic care.

Speaking recently in Lagos during press briefing to herald the 70th year anniversary celebration of the hospital, NOHI Medical Director, Dr Olurotimi Odunubi, added that such improvement would also help to reduce the level of non-recoverable debts among various patients in the hospital.

Odunubi put the non-coverable debt in the hospital between N25 million to N30 million owed by various patients, adding that the phenomenon “ has affected our services in a way.”

Odunubi stated that in spite of the several challenges that have confronted the hospital in the past seven decades, the hospital has done tremendously well to improve orthopaedic care in the country, even as he stated that the hospital now performs total hip and kneel replacement. “The hospital is now reputed to be the largest orthopaedic hospital in the West African sub-region with a world class intensive care unit,’’ Odunubi said.

NOHI commenced operations as a rehabilitation centre for wounded soldiers during World War 11 in 1943, but metamorphosed into a medical establishment under the British Colonial Medical services in December 1945 following the deployment of two Nigerian nurses.

The hospital was under the management of the Lagos State Government Ministry of Health where it played a major role in attending to wounded soldiers and civilians in the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 to 1970. The hospital was, however, taken over by the Federal Government in 1979.

According to the Medical Director, the hospital has a 450-bed space capacity and registers an average of 8,500 new patients and 47,000 clinical attendees annually in both morning and afternoon daily clinics.

On the challenges confronting the hospital, Odunubi said, “ the allocation we receive from government is also dwindling,” adding that “ before, we used to receive about N7 million, but now, we receive less than N2.9 million, which is grossly inadequate to settle our bills.”

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