Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says serious private sector investments in Nigeria’s healthcare would reposition the sector and curb medical tourism.
Osinbajo expressed this view while inaugurating the Duchess International Hospital, a subsidiary of the Reddington Hospital Group, on Friday, in Lagos.
According to Osinbajo, the quality of facilities and personnel at the hospital affirms that Nigeria is richly endowed with talents.
“Today is one of those days that one gets extra proud for being a Nigerian.
“It is one of those days when your belief is affirmed that this is a country of world class talents, world class ideas, and world class execution.
“So, we are here at the Duchess International Hospital, by both medical and aesthetic standards, comparable to the best hospitals in the world”.
The vice president said he concurred with the proprietors on their mission to reverse medical tourism ”by delivering the highest standards using the most advanced technology equipment to give the fastest, most convenient access to the best medical expertise available anywhere in the world”.
”And I concur, and I am sure you all concur,” Osinbajo said while emphasising that there were good reasons to agree with the owners of the hospital who had serious bragging rights coming from the Reddington family –a clinical health brand that had earned a strong reputation for high standards in healthcare.
“Top-notch international personnel and many highly reputed Nigerian doctors in the Diaspora and best of all, it’s all Nigerian.
“So, the opening of this state-of-the-art facility also celebrates some other facts.
“First is that it has all that it takes to become the place of choice for even medical tourists from developed countries looking to jump long queues for specialised facility at home or simply shopping for more affordable fees for first class health care.
“Secondly, we have by far the largest number of middle to low-income communities and individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa who require affordable high-quality health care.
“So, there is a sound business case here; in any event, this is the 15th facility of the Reddington Group,” Osinbajo said.
He added that if the business was not profitable, the proprietors would not venture into it, pointing out that such investments seeking high-quality medical personnel, would positively impact doctors.
“We can even reverse the trend of doctors voting with their feet, and we have seen that several doctors who are part of the management of this facility are coming from different parts of the world.
“The reasons for voting with their feet are all these– better remuneration, better facilities.
“But again, only serious private sector investment in high-quality healthcare services offering top compensation for its personnel could possibly create an attractive proposition to reverse the trend.
“So, the only way we can ensure that people stay, obviously, is to reward their services. I think that this is a good way to start.”
Osinbajo, who also inspected the various facilities in the hospital, noted that at Duchess International Hospital, a convergence of so many possibilities and great promise was being celebrated.
He said he was extremely proud to be a part of the phenomenal achievement and the great future it portends, not just for healthcare services in Nigeria, but also for the general business environment.
”If you can believe enough in our economy, to invest in 15 different places, then certainly, you must be doing something right and there must be something right about the economy also.
“By the way, just looking at the ambience of the hospital, the well-appointed rooms, all en-suite and especially, the cuisine, I saw what looked like a well-marinated lobster with lemon butter sauce; this surely should be called the Duchess; definitely, it should be called the Duchess.
“I only hope you don’t get people checking in before realising it is actually a hospital and not a hotel.
“So, it is really, my very great pleasure and privilege to officially inaugurate the Duchess International Hospital to the Glory of God and for the benefit of all Nigerians and those who may seek excellent healthcare from anywhere else in the world,” he said.
Earlier in his address of welcome, Dr. Adeyemi Onabowale, Chairman, Reddington Hospital Group, said the project was a one-stop multi-speciality, multi-disciplinary facility, where the best hospital care would be delivered together with world class hospitality service.
In his remarks, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said that the apex bank would continue to support the growth of the economy as a healthy workforce was critical to building a robust economy.
There were also goodwill messages from Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State among others.