BY ANAYO OKOLI
UMUAHIA—Statistics from Indian High Commission in the country has shown that Nigerians spend over N41 billion annually on medical treatment in Indian due to the parlous state of affairs in the nation’s hospitals.
Governor Theodre Orji of Abia State disclosed this on Monday at the commissioning of the state’s diagnostic centre, Umuahia.
According to him, the amount is spent by about 18,000 Nigerians who thronged hospitals in India for solutions to their medical problems.
The governor explained that it was in recognition of the expertise of Indians in the field of medicine that his state went into partnership with an Indian firm, Mecure, to establish the diagnostic centres, each in Umuahia and Aba.
He said the centre would save Nigeria the big capital flight which Nigerians had been taking out for treatment in India, as the state government had made efforts to bring the Indians to Nigeria.
Governor Orji, who noted that the centres were equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, listed the equipment to include four machines for renal diseases, one for HIV/AIDS, one for hypostasis and remaining one on standby.
He said the state was also partnering with the Indian firm for eye hospital which would be ready in three months.
Governor Orji said: “We will drastically reduce the number of people going to India for medical treatment and also save the huge amount of money being spent. We are also partnering them in eye treatment. We have entered an understanding with them. We have made some money available to them.
“If there is any sector we have made tremendous achievement, it is in the health sector. We have nine 100-bed hospitals going on in the state now.
“I have come to serve you; I have come not to deceive you. If I am a deceiver, you will know. I am not a deceiver. My yes is my yes, my no is my no”.
Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, commended the governor for his vision in the health sector and urged the people to make maximum use of the centre.
“Abia is now putting the priorities right,” the minister stated.
He also urged governor to commence the health insurance scheme, noting that it was necessary for the people.
“If you want to enjoy the services, health insurance is the answer,” he said, suggesting that government subsidized ome special areas of health problems.