The Governor, who was the special guest of honour, was represented by the state Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi Etti, who stated that the establishment of an arm of the hospital in Lagos aligns with the “strategic roadmap of the administration” which has the health and welfare of all its citizens at heart. He enjoined Lagosians to take advantage of the qualitative healthcare delivery that the hospital, through its specialized services, is bringing to the state.
Also speaking at the commissioning, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Felix Ogedegbe said the hospital has played a critical role in saving Nigeria foreign exchange through the spacialised services offers. This, he pointed out, has reduced the number of Nigerians going to other countries for medical tourism. Beyond that, he said Nigeria now earns foreign exchange as patients from neighbouring African countries now patronize the hospital.
“We have patients from neighbouring countries that come here for treatment. Some patients previously operated abroad unsuccessfully, have had to be re-operated here in Cedarcrest. Our operations in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt have catered for nearly 40,000 new patients and over 70,000 returning patients over the last 10years, saving the country huge amounts in foreign exchange.”
He added that serving Nigerians diligently is at the heart of what the hospital stands for. “As a result of our specialized services, some Nigerians, who hitherto travel outside our shores, are now assured that they can get the best here even though they have the resources to travel abroad for treatment. We have worked tirelessly to change the perception Nigerian patients have toward our local hospitals. Our business does not end in treating the rich only; we look after all shades of Nigerians - rich and poor.”
He further said since inception in 2008, Cedarcrest hospitals have been at the forefront of promoting the local availability of world class healthcare to Nigerians. “Why really do our people need to go abroad at great costs when we have the capacity to do so much at home?” Ogedegbe queried.
He pointed out that Cedarcrest has grown in leaps and bounds from a monospecialty 12 bed hospital in Garki, Abuja. “We commenced operations in Port Harcourt working out of the Shell Hospital in 2009, became multiepsccialty in 2010 and opened the first Lagos hospital in Ikeja in 2012. Today we boast of about 110 beds. Our flagship purpose built is now 95% complete with trauma centre, major radiologic modalities including MRI, CT scan, digital X rays, bone densitometry, USS and modern admission wards.”
Furthermore, he added that it is common practice to hear Nigerians castigating our hospitals for falling short of expectations because of the problems inherent in the environment we work and live in. Rather than bemoan the situation, he noted that Cedarcrest chose to take a holistic approach to providing quality healthcare delivery that has earned it an enviable place in the health sector. “We make our own oxygen; we generate our own air power and run multiple electrical backup systems for our equipment.”
He also revealed that the hospital has also established a factory where prosthetic limbs would be produced here in Nigeria. The facility will produce prosthetic limbs in conjunction with Ottobock of Germany. Our specialist reach now includes orthopedic surgery neurosurgery, vascular surgery, interventional radiology, eyes surgery, ENT surgery, general and gastrointestinal surgery, general medicine, dermatology, cardiology, paediatric, and obstetrics and gynecology, among others.”