A senator has called for the creation of six specialist hospitals in the six geopolitical zones.
The Senator made this call in a bid to boost medical tourism in Nigeria.
Senator Gershom Bassey, representing the Cross River South Senatorial district called for the establishment at the National Assembly.
Bassey explained that the newly-built Navy Hospital in Calabar is a world-class standard. Albeit, he mentioned the need for adequate funding by the federal government.
Speaking with newsmen from a call in Calabar, he emphasized the need for Specialist hospitals. According to him, the minimum should be six.
His words: “There should be a minimum of six special and well-equipped hospitals in the six geo-political zones of the country. and Whatever we can do to improve health care in our country is welcomed”.
He described this as a wake-up call for a facelift of Nigeria’s health sector to a global standard. Bassey further said that this doesn’t mean he is against politicians seeking medical treatment abroad.
He continued:” It is unconstitutional; however, I would expect that if facilities are available and meet international standards then all leaders starting with whoever is the sitting President would lead by example by patronizing such facilities”.
“We can make it the equivalent of the Walter Reed Hospital in the United States. This is the hospital all us, presidents use exclusively.
“So with the situation with some of our top government officials it could stem the tide of medical tourism…In the short term any amount to assist with immediate needs but my hope is that in the medium term it will be funded to the level as the hospital was originally conceived,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bassey had earlier made a case for the Navy hospital at the Senate Committee on Appropriation.
Also, read the latest health news in Nigeria about COVID-19
He requested increased funding for the Navy Hospital so that it can match Walter Reed hospital in the US.
“That hospital was completed recently and has been working for a few years now. I am very impressed that even after completion, the way that the hospital is run is first class. So, my question is I do not see any provision in this budget for that hospital.
“I am wondering if the hospital is part of the Navy budget or part of the Ministry of Health budget or is it being run as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) because I have had cause to take people there and from the gate of the hospital to where you have an operation and all is fantastic and it is one of the best in Nigeria that I have been to.
“My question is, are we watching out and providing funding for that hospital because it needs to be supported, funded and encouraged,” he said. Source: Vanguard