Aisha Buhari Kicks against Medical Tourism

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Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has stated that she does not believe in spending the nation’s resources on treatment abroad as all that was needed for proper and successful medication can be derived from Nigeria.

She stated this as she officially inaugurated Cedar Crest Hospital where surgeons first operated on her son, Yusuf, in the wake of a motorbike crash in Abuja.

She praised the 90-bed hospital sited in Abuja’s Apo District for saving her son’s life after the crash and emphasised on the importance of keeping healthcare delivery ready for emergencies as had befallen her son, citing controversial comments she had made about poor state of facilities at the State House Clinic.

The comments were to keep hospitals ready in the event that “something happened to anyone,” she said.

“And it happened to my son. He almost lost his life, but this hospital saved him,” said Buhari, accompanied by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo.

“Even after he was flown abroad for further medical attention, they (hospitals and surgeons abroad) did not do anything for him. They asked where the accident happened, where the surgery took place. I said Nigeria. They said excellent.

“I believe in making Nigeria a better place to be. I don’t believe in spending our resources abroad. We have all it takes to have a hospital like this, from manpower to personnel”

A team of orthopaedic and neurosurgeons at Cedar Crest had first worked on Yusuf before he was flown abroad for further treatment.

The hospital, from its first location at Garki II, had its partners install and use facilities for years before its inauguration to “change the landscape of health in Nigeria,” said Cedar Crest managing director, Dr. Felix Ogedegbe.

‎”It started out as an orthopaedics clinic in 2008,” but added on more specialties when it “became obvious that we had to expand our scope of practice into a full-fledged private multi-specialty hospital.”

It also operates a 20-bed hospital in Lagos and recently started work in Port Harcourt.

With patients coming in from Niger, Ghana and Cameroon, the hospital aims to reverse medical tourism and give access to “specialised services without the need to travel abroad and to have a platform where Nigerians abroad can come home to practice modern medicine,” said Ogedegbe.