By Sixtus Uket (Calabar)
The governor of Cross River state, Prof. Ben Ayade, has expressed optimism that the state would become the nation’s medical tourism hub when the Obudu-German hospital is completed.
The world-class Obudu-German hospital is one of the legacy projects of the governor situated in Obudu local government area of the state, a few kilometres from the Obudu Cattle Ranch Mountain Resort.
Governor Ayade made the assertion during an inspection tour of the health facility. He noted that with the availability of the latest medical technology in the hospital, “Nigerians no longer have any reason to travel abroad for complicated health issues.”
This paper was informed that to offer top-notch medical service, the Cross River state government is partnering with Health Share Solutions of South Africa and Siemens Technology to run the Obudu-German hospital.
“The quality of training and the fact that we are in partnership with Siemens and Siemens drives modern health technology; and then in collaboration with Health Share Solutions of South Africa makes this hospital such an international brand that only the best doctors in the world can work here,” the governor said.
“So you have a situation where you have the best equipment, best facility and best personnel. With the ambience of Obudu Cattle Ranch and the serenity of the atmosphere, I can tell you that medical tourism will thrive here at Obudu-German hospital.
“Of course, in this vicinity too you have the British-Canadian University which caters to the needs of students studying law and medicine; this creates a good opportunity for Africans to start thinking inward, for Africans to start patronising African hospitals,” Ayade added.
The governor also described the Obudu-German hospital as the best in Africa.
“The Obudu-German hospital is very outstanding because, in one single room, you have a collection of equipment you will not find in any hospital in Africa -from MRI to CT scan to Linear, name it, they are topnotch, they are the latest in health technology.
“The Obudu-German hospital will give a diagnosis you can take to the bank. So, if you come here and we tell you this is your ailment, anywhere else you go, that’s the same result you will get.
“The greatest challenge of health care in Africa is wrong diagnosis and that’s why our radiology and other diagnostic equipment are topnotch to cater to that faulty diagnosis that has always led to the death of patients because of wrong medication that is associated with the wrong diagnosis”, the governor said.
Adopting the facility as his hospital of choice, Ayade stressed that “I have never been sick as governor but with this hospital, if I’m sick, I can only come to Obudu-German hospital.”
He explained that the social welfare component of the hospital which is the social insurance scheme provides free medical services for Cross Riverians and all residents in this area who do not have income at all.
“There is a dedication to human service of providing free medical support services to such category of people who are zero income earners, the governor stated.
The governor who was elated at what he met at the facility, said he was quite impressed and excited because “the time frame given for this hospital to be ready for commissioning is being met. Very soon the hospital will be ready to start taking in patients.”
Earlier, the Regional Director for Health Share Solutions of South Africa, Dr. Sunny Clement, explained that of all the health facilities his company has managed around Africa, the Obudu-German hospital stands out as the best equipped.
“We have managed hospitals all across Africa – in Kenya, South Africa, Libya and also here in Nigeria – and I can tell you that when this hospital begins operation, it will be the most comprehensively equipped hospital in entire Africa.
“This hospital is equipped with imaging, radiology, pathology etc. This is the only hospital in the whole of Africa that has got three modular theatres in the same hospital, it’s a 140-bed hospital equipped with three different theatres.
“We are very proud that we are associated with this project. This hospital is also equipped with three 4Dx Gamma lights, that’s the only one in the country, the ones in Bauchi and UCH are 2Dx. This hospital is also equipped with a 1.5 Tesla MRI.
“When you put the whole of this together and then look at the state-of-the-art accident and emergency ward, fully equipped dental, ophthalmology, dialysis, oncology, ENT, and urology wards, you will agree with me that this hospital will be a pacesetter when it comes to redefining exceptional health care delivery in Africa,” Dr. Clement said.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, said the hospital is well equipped to cater to the needs of expectant mothers to ensure that they are delivered of their babies safely.
Dr. Ekpenyong assured that, with the Obudu-German hospital, infant and mother mortality will be a thing of the past in Cross River.