The Chief Medical Director (CMD), University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, has disclosed that the hospital conducted its first open heart surgery in January.
Obaseki said this on Tuesday in Benin, at the 50 per cent subsidised specialised surgeries’ inauguration as part of activities for the 50th anniversary of the hospital holding in May.
The CMD said the medical bill of one of the three patients for the open heart surgery was subsided by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr Phillip Shaibu.
He commended the deputy governor for being a pillar of support to UBTH and for also supporting the 50 per cent subsidised specialised surgeries.
Obaseki said the 50 per cent subsidy on speculised procedures such as Endoscopic and Laparoscopic surgeries, Colonoscopy, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) among others would be done till the end of February.
”We started since the beginning of this month. As of today, we have 115 patients for surgeries, anybody screened and certified free to undergo surgery would benefit from the programme,” he said.
The CMD said that although Nigeria could take care of its citizens’ health needs, medical tourism situation was responsible for citizens’ inability to place value on what it had.
”We need to advertise ourselves because the general society don’t seem to reckon on the medical professionals in Nigeria, we are up to the task, not until we travel,” he said.
According to him, the country is losing so much money to medical tourism when there are qualified medical personnel in Nigeria.
”There is a new report on the health market in Nigeria commissioned by Pharmaset Foundation which indicated that Nigeria is losing huge money to medical tourism.
”As at 2021, the value of the medical tourism market, the amount of Money Nigerians spend going to seek healthcare abroad is 1.9 billion dollars annually’’.
”Every month, 9,000 Nigerians seek medical care outside Nigeria and majority of them go to India.
”The question is why do they go out to seek for care? Some of the things they go out for are the things we are doing here.”
He said that Nigerians must learn to contribute cheerfully to the health sector, adding that a true philanthropist was the one who contributed to the health needs of his people.
Also speaking, the deputy governor, Shaibu commended the CMD for breaking new grounds in the health sector and for making the hospital a centre of excellence.
He said that the state government had always leveraged on the facilities, expertise of the personnel and technological advancements of the hospital to drive health reform in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Shaibu also called on Nigerians to show love by contributing their quota to the development of the health sector.
Mr Lucky Adubi, one of the patients, who benefitted from the subsidised specialised surgeries, commended the hospital for making him to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
He sought for sustainability of the subsidised surgeries so as to give succour to the poor