The Lagos State Government on Friday inaugurated a Critical Care Unit (CCU) at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja as part of its efforts to improve healthcare delivery in the state.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the facility would help to discourage Nigerians from going abroad to seek medical care.
This medical facility by design and operation will be deployed in the care of those in dire health condition that hitherto, predispose our people toward foreign medical tourism.
We are strongly committed to the task of reversing the trend of overseas medical tourism in favour of local medical tourism, through the provision of the right atmosphere for qualitative medical care. Ultimately, this facility will save about $3 billion in our nation’s scarce foreign exchange spent annually on foreign medical tourism by Nigerians,” Ambode said.
The governor said the equipment was a starting point and an ongoing process that would need to be improved upon.
In terms of equipment, personnel and so on, we can take care of critical patients in dire need.
We need to build more to be able to deliver quality healthcare to many Nigerians who need the care and save lots of people from medical tourism,’’ he stated.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said there was acute shortage of CCU beds and few facilities in the state that provided critical care.
According to him, as a result of the shortage, mortality rate is high.
This is what the government is trying to tackle and this is why we are building this CCU.
We are increasing the number of beds for critically ill patients and it is also in the context of providing quality care,” Idris said.
The commissioner said that the CCU could be used to train nurses, resident doctors and other health professionals, to become better health professionals and specialists.
The Chief Medical Director f LASUTH, Prof. Wale Oke, said that the services would not be free but would be cheaper than what obtained at private hospitals.
Most of the equipment have to be driven with funds and the good thing is that the Lagos State House of Assembly has signed the insurance scheme into law.
Invariably, if you pay your insurance subscription, anybody should be able to access health in this facility eventually,” Oke said.
The Director of the LASUTH CCU, Dr Ade Tinubu, said that challenge of electricity supply would be properly managed with the provision of IPP and UPS, to manage the equipment.
The main challenge with the equipment is that they are so sensitive that power fluctuation can damage them.
To mitigate this, the State Government has provided the hospital with its own IPP.
“We have an in-house bio-medical engineer that has been trained to manage the facilities and we train all cadres of staff to be able to use the equipment,” he said.