The need for inclusivity and partnership of relevant stakeholders in health care delivery with Federal Ministry of Health received a boost, when the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire commissioned a privately established specialized cardiac care hospital in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory on Thursday, 26th November, 2020. That was when the Cardiocare Multispecialty Hospital Complex in Area 11, was commissioned by the Honourable Minister. The country may therefore be on its way to saving a tidy foreign exchange sum expended on medical tourism especially if the advice of the health minister is heeded.
Dr. Ehanire encouraged more private sector entities to enter the health space “both independently and in partnership with the federal government” disclosing that “The Central Bank has a ₦100billion loan facility for this purpose. Ultimately, both government and private sector have the goal to record ever-improving health outcomes for our country.”
The Honourable Minister further added that “The federal government will support the private health sector to join hands in developing innovative strategies to provide health care access to all citizens, and foster health workforce retention.”
Dr. Ehanire further admonished the promoters of Cardio care Multispecialty Hospital Complex, Abuja, deliver high-end services, saying “I trust that you will deliver cutting edge standard of specialized care here in Nigeria. May this facility serve our population well and bring smiles and happiness to families.”
The Honourable Minister of Health also disclosed at the launch event the Specialist care is often the most inaccessible. He said “The lack of it, or distrust of its quality in our country, is often the reason citizens seek health care abroad. It has been estimated that Nigeria loses between USD$1 and 2 billion annually in foreign exchange to what has been branded as medical tourism.”
Specialized cardiac care, Dr. Ehanire said, “is one of the most highly sought-after specialized health services in the world today”, further disclosing the WHO’s revelation that “Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year, which is 31% of all global death.”
The Honourable Minister of Health further said that “In Nigeria, cardiovascular disease remains a great public health concern; the non-communicable disease programme under the Federal Ministry of Health has reported that cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 11% of the over 2 million non-communicable disease related deaths annually.” He said that the need for the Cardio care services has been on the rise and has been equally scarce lately; this, he said "can be attributed to derailing lifestyle habits by Nigerians compounded with the dearth of cardiac care capacity; there is a limited availability of standard and functional cardiac centers with adequate human resources.” It was on this premise, that the Honourable Minister encouraged more health care practitioners to enter the health space even if jointly with the FG or with one-another to establish more of the centers.
Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media, Federal Ministry of Health.