‘Exclusive Smile Will Curb Medical Tourism, Brain Drain’

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Martins Ifijeh

The Chief Executive Officer, BeaconHill Smile Group, Dr. Oluwaseun Akinbobola has stated that the organisation’s newly built facility, Exclusive Smile, will curb medical tourism for Nigerians needing dental care, as well as address brain drain for dental doctors and nurses.

Speaking at the commissioning of the facility, and launch of the 1 for 10 Foundation in Lagos recently, Akinbobola said in order to ensure Nigerians no longer go abroad for dental care, the facility was fitted with state-of-the-art facilities and highly experienced professionals.

He said: “This will also ensure we reverse the brain drain in the health sector. While doctors are relocating to Canada to practice, we are encouraging foreign trained Nigerian doctors to return to the country.

“On affordability of our services, Beacon Hill Smile Clinic in Victoria Island and Ikeja, as well as the Exclusive Smile are all affordable. We also have our foundation, the 1 for 10 Foundation whereby part of the proceeds from every treatment we offer in our clinics is used in the funding of treatments for 10 indigent Nigerians. The quality you get in our clinics doesn’t come cheap but our fees are not outrageous.”

He lamented that many Nigerians do not consider oral health as important, hence the need to create more awareness. In Nigeria, people go for treatment only when they have cavity issue. Normal checkups and prevention are key to addressing dental problems.

He advised Nigerians to brush their teeth twice a day, see their dentists at least twice a year, and then flux, adding that what Nigerians often do is use broom or tooth pick to pick our teeth which damages the teeth.

“The foundation, 1 for 10 Foundation, is a way of giving back to the society. The concept behind the it is to make sure for every one patient we treat, 10 indigent Nigerians get free treatment. So, we are saying if the elites can come for treatment, a part of that income will take care of those who can’t pay for treatment,” he said.

On his part, the Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi said the state will be happy to collaborate with Akinbobola and his team in other to improve oral health of Lagos residents.

He said: “I am impressed with the professionalism of the proprietor of the facility. It is a high-class clinic, and this is a bench mark for the public sector. Myself and Akinbobola will be meeting up to discuss collaboration in terms of their mobile clinic, mentorship for our young ones as well, among others.

“Nigerians often do not see the oral cavity as a priority, but as a government, we hope to change that. We will increase awareness on the importance of oral care.”