ABUAD multi-system hospital reducing medical tourism abroad – CMD

  • Urges FG to make imported medical equipment tax-free

From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Afe Babalola University Multi-System Hospital, (AMSH) Ado-Ekiti, Dr Kolawole Ogundipe, has said that the hospital has been reducing frequent medical tourism in Nigeria with its quality medical services.

The CMD urged the federal government to remove tax on imported medical equipment.

Ogundipe made the remarks at a press conference at the weekend to mark the sixth anniversary of the hospital, where he noted that the multi-system hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that can compete favourably with facilities in developed countries, therefore has been able to provide solutions to all health challenges confronting people.

The CMD said that the 400-bed ultra-modern hospital was built by Aare Afe Babalola, the founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti(ABUAD), to complement the medical training programme of the university.

Ogundipe who recalled that the hospital was commissioned on October 20, 2017 but commenced clinical services on March 21, 2018, noted that in the founder’s avowed determination to ensure that the multi system hospital stands out as a clear leader and the toast of its peers in Africa, he(founder) populated it with the most modern and sophisticated medical equipment and hired the best of hands that will make it the hospital of first choice in Africa.

Corroborating his statement that the multi-system hospital offers the best of services, thus addressing medical tourism, the CMD noted that a number of high profile individuals including politicians and elites have visited the facility as patients and were well managed that they are now alive to testify to the quality of the treatment they received at the hospital.

“In actual fact, if we will look inward in Nigeria, believe and resort to what we have here in terms of infrastructure and equipment, we will successfully reverse medical tourism,”

Ogundipe further said that the hospital since its inception, has continued to experience unprecedented growth with several incredible feats while offering cutting- edge services in all aspects of medicine, including, but not limited to cardiac, renal and radiological services. As a result, the hospital has assumed the position of a leading centre for kidney, heart and vascular surgery among others

“It is on record that the Cardiac Unit has performed over a hundred procedures within five years of its establishment with an excellent success rate. These contributions to cardiac health have dramatically improved outcomes in the area of cardiac health and treatment.

“Starting with an average of 10 dialysis treatment every month about five years ago, the Renal Unit now performs over 400 Dialysis treatment sessions monthly. The hospital has performed 14 renal transplants since October 2021.”

On tax exemption for imported medical equipment, the CMD decried the taxes imposed procuring medical equipment coupled with the high exchange rate of dollar to naira appealing to the federal government to remove tax on imported equipment.

According to him, “We face challenges in procuring most of the equipment we have here because we operate in Nigeria system where a lot of taxes are being imposed.

“The desire of the founder and those of us working with him has been to have a system in Nigeria that can reward people’s efforts in making equipment available for good healthcare delivery and by ensuring that these equipment are imported tax-free.

“That will basically reduce the cost of procuring the health equipment. In terms of consumables, virtually all we use in Nigeria are being imported and the exchange rate is in terms of dollars.

“And when they get to Nigeria, the cost has to be paid and it makes the price so high. Our desire is that they should consider medical equipment as exemptions and allow them to come in tax-free, so that the cost of procuring them will be less burdensome and we will have more centres to provide such facilities.”

As part of events lined up to mark the six years anniversary of the hospital, the CMD noted that this year’s anniversary will put into consideration the hard times in the country and its effects on the health of Nigerians, hence the hospital will be hosting a 2-day mental health summit.

“This year’s anniversary will be focusing on mental health in clear recognition of the hard times we live in and the increasing mental challenges we are all subjected to.

“We all must come together to address mental health, not only as a medical issue, but as a vital component.of our overall well-being.

“The objectives of the event are to raise awareness about mental health, thereby breaking down the barriers of stigma, exploring avenues for integrating mental health services within our hospital’s offerings and elaborating on the mental health services currently available to our student body.”

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