The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, says the usual practice of going abroad for medical treatment by rich Nigerians diminishes the image of the country.
Fashola spoke on Wednesday during the inauguration of a 60-bed ultra-modern Cardiac and Renal Centre in the Gbagada General Hospital complex.
He said flying the late former President, Alhaji Musa Yar’ Adua to Saudi Arabia to manage his kidney ailment remained a low point in the nation’s history.
He said, “We could have built one. The Federal Government does not understand that it diminishes our image every time that the head of government travels abroad for medical care.”
The governor added that in most countries, the best hospitals were military hospitals where presidents got treatment.
He recalled that Nigeria’s military hospitals used to be to such standards, saying, “What is the ailment that a Nigerian President goes to treat abroad that a Nigerian hospital built by him cannot handle?”
The governor said the government had flown people abroad for related problems in the past.
Fashola said, “There were 42 cardiac cases and 28 renal cases that benefited from the gesture of compassion from the ministry of health in 2008 and 2014. There were also 11 renal cases that were sponsored for kidney transplant, dialysis and post-transplant immune suppressants at St Nicholas Hospital in Lagos.”
He said the facility would save money spent abroad, stating that the hospital had 24 dialysis bed stations, 20 beds for recovery and general ward use, among others.
“There are two lecture rooms for students, but one of the fascinating facilities is the surgical theatre where kidneys and hearts can be removed and transplanted. There are cameras which project images and voices of what is happening in the theatre to the students in the lecture rooms on the ground floor. This centre is an extension of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital,” Fashola added.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris had said the prevalence of end stage renal disease in Nigeria is estimated at 290 per million.
Courtesy Punch Newspapers