ABUAD Teaching Hospital Will Stem Medical Tourism —FG
Federal Government has said that the modern 400-bed teaching hospital built by the legal luminary and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), is a worthy vision and a facility capable of ending medical tourism in Nigeria.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who stated this at the inauguration of the hospital, on Friday, said the hospital had the capacity of raising the current standard of healthcare delivery in the country.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said the medical sector in Nigeria would receive a huge boost if other well-meaning individuals could emulate the spirit of patriotism displayed by Chief Babalola in partnering the government in the project of lifting the health situation in the country from where it currently is.
At the inauguration, which was part of activities for the fifth convocation ceremony of ABUAD, the vice president emphasised that such spirit of selflessness had become imperative because government alone could not shoulder a critical sector like heath without the support of Nigerians.
He noted that Nigerians went through a lot while seeking medical care, and the hospital, which he described as “a masterpiece” would fill the gap and enhance healthcare delivery system in the country.
“This hospital will go a long way in conserving funds being spent by Nigerians on medical trips abroad. With this, Nigerians can now be treated by Nigerians.
“It takes a man with vision and large heart for his nation and people to do this. It will help in addressing the poor heath indicators in our system,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State said the equipment he had seen at the hospital were unmatched anywhere in the country.
He stated that it was time a serious look was taken at the building of an airport in the state, to boost transportation to the hospital among others.
Fayose described Babalola and ABUAD as “value-added to Ekiti,” noting that “it would have been disastrous to Ekiti if this university is built elsewhere. The facilities in this university and the new teaching hospital have no rival. Those medical treatments we go abroad to do can now be done here in Ekiti.”
Earlier in a convocation lecture, a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola, stressed the need for private universities to access funds from the Federal Government through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
Okebukola, whose lecture was entitled “The Place and Continued Relevance of Private Universities Globally”, stated that there was need for private universities to be given grant-in-aid and have unfettered access to TETFUND.
He argued that there were grounds to sustain the argument because of the contributions of private universities to both the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“They are good competitors for public universities. They fostered discipline and maintain standards through stable academic calendars. Giving them financial support will help in reducing their tuition which were adjudged too high now.
“The Federal Government can give them those financial supports with conditions that there will be staff retention, stable academic calendar, sustained performances and reduction in tuition and all these will help in shaping our education sector”, he said.
Okebukola predicted that the future of private universities is bright in Nigeria and that no effort should be spared in helping them to rise to stardom to boost the country’s ranking globally.