With the establishment of Maxi Specialty Hospital a few months ago and the recent inauguration of Grays Cardiology Centre and Breast and Gynae Centre by the Reddington Hospital Group, Martins Ifijeh writes that Nigeria may just be on its way to stopping medical tourism in the country
While Nigeria continues to grapple with poor health system that has caused many of its citizens to access care in foreign countries like the Unite States, United Kingdom and Turkey, there seems to be a ray of hope, as private healthcare providers like Reddington Hospital Group are filling the gaps in the country with the aim of giving Nigerians state-of-the-art healthcare just as it is in many developed nations.
Few months ago, the hospital group established the Maxi Specialty Centre in Lagos, a one stop medical facility for dental care, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) treatment, eye treatment, endoscopy, dialysis, physiotherapy, EEG, Sleep studios, audiology, speech therapy, sleep management, among others.
The establishment followed the group’s resolve to provide primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare in many specialties under one roof. A first of its kind in Nigeria.
But in expanding its healthcare frontiers for the country, Reddington, has again established recently, the Breast and Gynae Centre and the Grays Cardiology Centre to carter for everything woman, and everything that relates to cardiovascular system respectively.
The Breast and Gynae Centre, which was inaugurated by the Vice-President’s wife, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo Monday last week, is said to be dedicated to caring for women throughout all stages of life.
The Chief Executive Officer, Reddington Hospital Group, Dr. Yemi Onabowale, said the idea behind the establishment of the Centre was to offer the most advanced, comprehensive and personalised care available, and give all-round services in advanced breast care, gynaecological care, primary care, and other specialties such as cardiology, general surgery, ear, eye, nose and throat care to Nigerian women,” he added.
He said in keeping with the Reddington tradition of being the front runner in medical breakthroughs in Nigeria, the Breast and Gynae Centre boasts of cutting edge technological support never before seen in West Africa. “They include a 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography), a 3D Automatic Breast Ultrasound System (3D ABUS), a 3D Digital Breast Streotaxic Biopsy System (3D Stereo), a 3D MRI with 1.5 Tesla GE Explorer Technology.
“Of note about the 3D Automatic Breast Ultrasound System (3D ABUS) is its anticipated improved ability to detect small cancers that cannot be seen on a mammogram alone in women. It is believed ABUS will become an integral part of medical practice for the detection of breast cancer.”
“Other novel equipment of the Breast and Gynae Centre is the Vascular Embolisation Suite for Uterine Artery Embolisation, Digital Colposcopy, Optical Imaging Technology for Cervical Cancer Screening, Digital Bone Densitometry, and a 4D Gynaecology Ultrasound System (with 4D transvaginal ultrasound capability). Also on-site is a state-of-the-art theatre for day surgery and other mini gynaecological and breast surgeries,” he added.
No wonder the Vice-President’s of wife, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, described the Centre as a facility that will save the lives of women and girls in Nigeria. Adding that the Centre has been designed to address not only all round health of the woman, but their emotional, psychological and physical needs.
Mrs. Osinbajo, who inaugurated the facility, said, “there are many women who need help in areas of breast cancer, fibroid, gynaecology, among others. Reddington has taken a bold step to address this. We should all follow suit and help women in need of healthcare.
“Doctors and health workers are like soldiers, they fight for us so we can live. But like soldiers, they need equipment to work with. The Reddington Hospital team has fulfilled this by providing world class facilities needed in helping our women,” she said.
On his part, the Medical Director of the Centre, Dr. Nnamdi Iwuala, said the facility serves as a model for the future of women’s healthcare, by weaving together all-round women’s health services, robust client education and innovative technologies.
“With our philosophy of providing compassionate and respectful care, the Centre will journey with our women through every stage of life – from puberty through menopause and golden years, as we strive to give them the best comprehensive healthcare available,” he said.
On her part, the wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu, who survived breast cancer 20 years ago, called on Nigerian women to do self examination on their breasts often, adding that the best way to beat cancer was early detection.
“I was able to defeat cancer because of early detection. Do not say it is just a lump. If you take it for granted it will continue to grow into cancer cells and then spread. By the time you may be ready for treatment, it may be too late.”
She called on the hospital management to make the facility affordable so that an average Nigerian woman can access and afford the Centre.
In the same vein, just four days after the inauguration of the Breast and Gynae Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos, Reddington Hospital Group opened another first of its kind cardiac centre named, The Grays Cardiology Centre in Ikeja, which was inaugurated by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
The Centre, according to Onabowale, is a full-fledged cardiology facility with a vision of improving patients’ chances of healthy survival, bettering the quality of their care, and giving more people the tools and education they need to prevent cardiovascular disease in themselves and their loved ones in an ethical and affordable manner.
He said out of the deep understanding of cardiovascular diseases and the passion to set high standards in the medical industry, came the need to create a centre of excellence that will cut across multidisciplinary services, which has now birthed the Grays Cardiology Centre.
“The Grays Cardiology Centre is launched in collaboration with a team of indigenous cardiology experts, Professors of cardiology, and a USA-based cardiology group.” Adding that; “The Centre will offer services covering non-invasive and interventional procedures, heart diagnostic procedures, cardiac rehabilitation, intensive coronary care, telemetry services, heart care education, amongst others.”
While noting that the facility represents the only cardiology centre in the mainland, he said Reddington has recorded several numbers of firsts and would continue to set pace in her healthcare.
He said the first digital Cardiac Catheterisation and Angiography Suite (among many other first) in Nigeria was launched by Reddington Hospital in 2009. “The Suite’s state-of-the-art equipment allowed many pioneering firsts in Nigeria, saving hundreds of life that otherwise would have been lost.
“The Reddington Hospital, the flagship hospital of the Reddington Healthcare Group, has since inception continuously maintained professional and qualitative standard of healthcare delivery, with a mission to deliver first world medical service. The hospital’s pioneering achievements and quality in healthcare delivery is evidenced by the awards won. The Reddington Hospital’s many breakthroughs in healthcare in Nigeria including the first digital cardiac catheterisation facility in Nigeria, the first angioplasty and stent operation to be performed in Nigeria, the first closure of a hole in the heart in a child using non-surgical modern technology, among others,” the CEO added.
On his part, Ehanire said the Centre has set the bar higher, in that it goes beyond the routine, to bring state-of-the-art diagnostic and intervention capacity to Nigeria. “We are proud that services that would have been found only in the top hospitals of technologically advanced countries, can be rendered right here, in the country, without need for passport, visa, airfare or other hurdles and expenses.
“However, there is more to be done. With a population of 170 million people and the well-known needs of Nigeria, other entrepreneurs are invited to come in, and Reddington is invited to expand. Along the pattern of the Apollo Hospital chain in India, I ask you to consider developing a model in which you can also provide services to indigent patients, subsidised by your paying patients, as your corporate social responsibility.
Also, in his address, the Medical Director of the new Centre, Dr. Soe Moe Aung, gave his assurances that the latest medical technology in cardiology will be used to provide the expertise to ensure that all patients receive world-class medical care.
The various establishments of specialty centres by Reddington are obviously defining the healthcare system. Will other stakeholders, the government and well-meaning Nigerians take a clue from this, so that the country’s health sector can attain its rightful place?