The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnibe Mamora, on Thursday said various outstanding achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in the health sector were grossly under-reported.
Mr Mamora made the assertion at the inauguration of the state-of-the-art Modular Theatre Complex and Amenity Ward at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.
“I think the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in the health sector have been grossly under-reported. People here can bear me witness.
“We have been on tour of the country inaugurating various developmental projects which are basic healthcare infrastructure for the past few months.
“We have been on the tour of Federal Medical Centres (FMC) in Jalingo, Katsina, Abeokuta and recently Ebute Meta, Lagos, where we inaugurated different projects.
“I will also say, without mincing words, that these projects will grossly reduce the medical tourism that we have been talking about and minimise the monies spent on foreign exchange,” he said.
Mr Mamora said that COVID-19 pandemic had been a blessing in disguise by which the government had to shore up its budgetary allocations to health sector and subsequent improvement in basic health infrastructure.
“I think COVID-19 pandemic is a blessing in disguise for us in Nigeria because we have seen the need to provide more health infrastructure to Nigerians.
“We have improved the number of Intensive Care Units (ICU), creation of isolation centres and other facilities in spite of the little resources that we have.
“Having this type of facility, first of its kind in terms of complexity in Nigeria, is a good thing to note.
“I am, therefore, appealing to the management of the hospital to ensure adequate maintenance of the facility,” he said.
Also, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mustapha Alimi, said the provision of the theatre was a testament of the government’s resolve at improving healthcare in the country.
“The provision of this facility is coming at this auspicious time when the whole world is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For this, there is need to modernise our healthcare system.
“The provision of this facility is apt in ensuring the promotion of global health security.
“I am sure it will contribute to the provision of quality healthcare in the international best practices.
“This facility will also help to curb the unrelenting health tourism in our country, which has been ripping us of our foreign exchange that we can as well use for other essential services.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is committed to providing quality healthcare by contributing to the universal health coverage in the country, in pursuance of the Sustainable Health Development Goals.”
In his remarks, Dr Tunji Alausa, Board Chairman, NOHIL, Lagos, said that the board was working in harmony with the management of the hospital toward improving its services.
“When we came on board, we decided along with the management of the hospital that we will complete all the ongoing projects, thus, we embark on the Modular Theatre and the Amenity Ward.
“We also want to expand the capacity of the hospital; so, we decided on completing the Amenity Ward to complement the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“This is to improve and expand the services that we offer, and we are bold to say that the Modular Theatre we are inaugurating today is one of the biggest in Nigeria.
“The theatre is equipped with the state-of-the-art medical infrastructure,” he said.
In his remarks, Dr Mustapha Alimi, Medical Director of NOHIL, said that the Modular Theatre could be ranked with its peers in advanced economies around the world.
“The facility that we are inaugurating today is one of the best we have around.
“It has six international standard operating suites with digital cameras that can be viewed all around the world.
“We will continue to provide premium medical services to Nigeria in a bid to curb medical tourism,” he said.