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UCTH moves against medical tourism with modern equipment

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The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has said it acquired Direct Digital X-ray System, 4D Ultra Sound Scanner and 32 Slide City Scanner for the Department of Radiology to stem medical tourism abroad by the Nigerian elite and politicians.

Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UCTH, Prof. Ikpeme Ikpeme, who disclosed this during a tour of some facilities in the hospital at weekend, stated that the sophisticated modern equipment have been installed in various departments at the hospital to cater for patients.

“My passion is to build, improve and boost service delivery in the teaching hospital and with the equipment and better welfare package for doctors to achieve the same level of services rendered in foreign countries at UCTH,” he said.

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He explained that patients, who visit the hospital for radiology intervention no longer need to go outside the state for the service, adding that the hospital has automated its laboratories with designated Magnetic Resonance Imaging Laboratory.

“We have introduced new services in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. We have also introduced laparoscopy and hysteroscopy surgeries. We have remodeled the Dental Clinic with state-of-the-art machine so that nobody needs to travel out of the state for dental service anymore,” he said.

The CMD, who said low funding still remained a major challenge at the hospital, however, assured that charges for medical services in the hospital were still pocket friendly and most of the funds used in equipping the hospital were drawn from their internally generated revenue.

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He expressed delight that the hospital had benefited from a Federal Government funded 10-bed Intensive Care Unit under its COVID-19 intervention.

MEANWHILE, as hospitals continue to grapple with poor funding and staff welfare in the country, no fewer than 15 medical doctors of the UCTH have concluded plans to leave the country.

Ikpeme said welfare of medical personnel had remained poor, hence doctors were leaving in their large numbers for greener pasture abroad, adding it was unfortunate that the second most senior doctor in the hospital left for Saudi Arabia.

“If not checked, the development may cripple activities at the hospital due to shortage of skilled manpower. As we speak, there are at least 15 or 20 others, who have processed their papers and are waiting to leave. The brain drain is real and we need to find a way to retain our professionals,” he added.

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Ikpeme IkpemeUCTH
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