By Magnus Effiong
The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) is investing heavily in the procurement of modern medical equipment and infrastructure to stop medical tourism and provide affordable and quality healthcare services to the people, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof Ikpeme Ikpeme has disclosed.
Prof Ikpeme said this in Calabar while playing host to the leadership and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Cross River state council who paid him a courtesy visit..
He explained that the intensive care unit (ICU), molecular/ research laboratory, radiology with ultrasound computers, dialysis equipment for early detection and treatment of cancer, cardiac theatre with automated cardiac surgery machines, infectious disease and isolation centre amongst many others, have all been upgraded with state-of-the-art equipment.
Speaking while conducting Journalists around the upgraded facilities, Prof Ikpeme further disclosed that a 56 apartment two-storey building for incoming House Officers has also been constructed by his administration.
“UCTH has become an epitome of high quality in healthcare delivery with the upgrading and installation of state-of-the-art medical equipment and facilities.
“For instance, the electronically powered 10 bed intensive care unit has each bed fitted with an air bag mattress, television monitor and other high tech medical equipment meant for comfort and speedy recovery of patients.
“We have spent a total of N940 million – 345 million naira for the ICU, more than 400 million for the molecular laboratory and over 100 million naira for Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs and another 100 million naira for isolation centre equipment. So, it is specific and targeted; we had to choose the equipment and structure needed within the amount available.
“We have done all that because as a specialist healthcare provider, we must contribute our quotas to reduce and discourage medical tourism and to end the flight of foreign exchange in our country.
“So whatever we can provide here, we will do. We will try to provide the facility. We will try to provide the personnel and try to provide the environment so that those who want to seek those services would be able to seek those services here and get treated.
“That has been the focus of what we have done in the last few years. That is why we have invested in the thing we have invested in. As I have said, infrastructural upgrades, creating a critically appealing environment, getting more equipment and training our personnel as well as dealing with the attitude of our staff had been a focus.
“We are here to provide services, preventive, curative and all of that. So in terms of your health, we have a wellness clinic now. So you don’t have to be sick before you come. We have healthcare. You don’t have to know anybody in this hospital to get services at 3 am,” Ikpeme submitted.
The CMD lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for displaying sheer commitment towards improving healthcare, noting “The Infectious Disease and Isolation Centre, the ICU and the Molecular Laboratory are all from COVID-19 funds. The Nigerian Government made available COVID-19 funds and we used the funds to get these structures.”