In an industry awash with stories of what has gone wrong and what is not working, the establishment of Maxy Super-Specialty Centre, a one-stop facility for different specialist care, is opening a new vista for Nigeria’s health sector. Martins Ifijeh writes
While it is tempting to blame the lack of funding by government and the dearth of healthcare facilities as the major draw backs of Nigeria’s healthcare system, there are select and passionate members of the society who think supporting the citizens with healthcare provision as it applies in advanced countries like the United States, United Kingdom and India will help boost the country’s healthcare system and reduce the avoidable deaths occasioned by poor healthcare.
One of such patriots is the Chief Executive Officer of Reddington Healthcare Group, Dr. Yemi Onabowale, whose various health facilities have pioneered a number of firsts in the healthcare industry of the country ranging from performing the first closure of a hole in the heart by a non surgical procedure in Nigeria, the first in the country to attain the Cohsasa quality improvement and certification in Nigeria, among others.
Despite its achievements and support to improving the healthcare system of the country, its hunger to see a perfect society where all health needs are attended to irrespective of the dearth of specialists and equipments in the country tackling specific health issues, has again driven the healthcare champions to establish a multi-specialist centre, called the Maxy Super-Specialty Centre in Lagos.
The Centre is a one-stop specialty centre for dental care, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) treatment, eye treatment, endoscopy, physiotherapy, EEG, Sleep studios, dialysis, audiology, speech therapy, sleep management, among others.
Speaking during the inauguration of the multi specialist centre earlier in the week, the Group Managing Director, Shell Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, declared that the newly inaugurated Maxy Super-Specialty Centre, will greatly reduce medical tourism in the country.
He said with its state-of-the-art facilities and the quality services rendered by Reddington Hospital, many Nigerians needing specialist healthcare services would have no need travelling abroad for treatment, noting that the centre boasts of highly trained professionals and all the requirements of a standard health facility.
Speaking at the event, which also marked the 10th year anniversary of Reddington Healthcare Group, Okunbor said the antecedents of the hospital speaks volume of what to expect in the super-specialist centre, adding that since Shell Nigeria enlisted Reddington Hospital as its healthcare provider, its staff and the oil firm in general have been happy and comfortable.
He said: “A few years ago, we struggled to provide healthcare services in house for our people, but one day we all sat down to deliberate on this. At that time I was not the GMD, but I was privileged to be among those who made decisions on which health facility to enlist. Since Reddington came on board we have been very happy because of their level of quality and professionalism. That is why when I was invited to come here, I did everything possible to come irrespective of the inconveniences,” he added.
Lending his voice, the Commissioner for Health, Delta State, Dr. Nicholas Azinge said for any healthcare provider to put up such a world class facility like the one in the centre, despite the economic recession presently experienced, speaks volume of the team’s passion to offer service.
Azinge, who said the passion for an excellent healthcare by Onabowale dates back to when they both left medical school some 30 years ago, adding that while others were going abroad to seek greener pastures, the CEO had a vision to bring world class healthcare to Nigerians.
“The fruit of that passion is what we are seeing here today. A world class Reddington Hospital that has had firsts in several areas, and now a world class super-specialty centre,” he noted.
He also emphasised the need for preventive care, adding that, “every Nigerian need to collectively push for preventive care, as this is much more effective. For instance, just very few people know that once you are 50 years and above, you are supposed to visit an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist at least once every five years. We also need to visit an eye specialist, at least once a year. Same with most of the other specialties. Fortunately now, these are parts of what the Maxy Super-Specialty Centre offers Nigerians,” he said.
He said recently, the Delta State Government has discussed with Reddington Hospital management to see to it that the same facility was replicated in the state. “After which, we hope that this will also be replicated in the six geopolitical zones of the country,” he adds.
On his part, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, commended Onabowale and his team for being dependable partners to the government, adding that government cannot do the job of providing adequate healthcare alone.
“Private Public Partnership is the way to go. I have personally seen the various health facilities of Reddington Hospital, and I will say the team has done well in the provision of quality health services to the people,” he noted
Idris, however noted that, despite the clamour for PPP, governments in the tertiary, secondary and primary arm were not doing much in terms of healthcare funding. “Before Ebola came, I could remember I once went to my then boss to request that I be given half a billion naira to fund healthcare. He told me that was not possible. But when Ebola came, I was in my office when money came, I didn’t have to go ask for it.”
He advised governments not to wait until there was outbreak before healthcare was funded adequately.
On his part, Onabowale said the birthing of the facility was a careful, deliberate and passionate approach towards providing a one-stop health specialty plus a world class facility and professionals for the service of mankind.
He said Maxy Super-Specialty Centre was the first major centre in the country where all major specialties were brought together under one roof. “The ophthalmology section of the centre has innovative facilities which we are the first to bring into the country. Same with the dentistry, the ENT, among others.
“Reddington, as an hospital has pioneered a lot of achievements in this country, among which is the fact that we were the first hospital to do a closure of a hole in the heart by a non surgical procedure. The three-year-old patient was to be carried to India, but we decided to do it for free,” he adds.
According to the Medical Director of the facility, Dr. Misbah Oleolo, the multidisciplinary care centre was a world class and integrative facility with premium for integrity, adding that during the putting together of the facility, a lot of efforts went into procuring new, innovative and up-to-date equipments. “We also made sure we recruited the best hands, most of which were leaders and stars in their various carriers abroad.”
Also, the Group Medical Director, Reddington Healthcare Group, Dr. Olutunde Lalude said with the country’s healthcare problems including patient safety, lack of quality facilities, dearth of man power and medical technology, all affecting healthcare provision, the Maxy Super-Specialty will aim to close that gap in the country.
He said in the UK, several millions of pounds were spent on healthcare for the about 67 million people living in the country, but lamented that very little is budgeted for healthcare in Nigeria.
Lalude is a highly experienced consultant colorectal, general and laparoscopic surgeon with over 25 years of experience practicing in the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.