▪As First Lady says this will end medial tourism for presidents, VPs, families
The N21 billion Presidential Wing of the State House Medical Centre was officially inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.
The First Lady, Aisha Buhari, said that the facility would eliminate the need for the president and his family to travel overseas for medical care.
The president’s wife revealed to State House Correspondents that she came up with the idea of the VIP Wing six years ago after her husband’s protracted stay abroad for medical treatment.
She attended the facility’s commissioning ceremony with other dignitaries at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Mrs Buhari said now that the facility is in place, Nigerian Presidents and their family members will no longer need to go abroad for treatment but may only fly in medical experts to assist their colleagues in the country.
Asked her impression of the new medical centre, she said: “I’m quite happy, feeling fulfilled. Though we are leaving but all the same, we thank God the project has come to reality.
“I have opted for it six years now. I initiated this project idea six years ago when my husband spent three months abroad, consecutively, 90 days. And it shouldn’t be because we have all the experts in Nigeria. We only need a good platform.
“The hospital that is supposed to serve the First Family is serving like 35,000 people which is quite much.
“That’s why I insisted we should have a VIP Wing within the proximity of the presidential villa.”
On whether the medical centre would now make it unnecessary for Nigerian leaders to go abroad for treatment, she responded: “Yes. This one is for the health and wellness of the First Family. They don’t need to go abroad now. They only need to may be fly in experts to help our people. You know.
“So, no need for any leader to spend months and months abroad because of health care.”
The N21 billion, state-of-the-facility inaugurated by President Buhari spans a total ground area of 2,485 square meters, on a suspended floor with a basement, the hospital, which serves as a specialized Intensive Care Centre, caters for the President, Vice President, their immediate families and VIPs.
The hospital incorporates state-of-the-art medical technology.
The Presidential/VIP Wing houses several specialized departments, to be staffed by a team of medical professionals, featuring five consultation rooms dedicated to various specialties, including respiratory, cardiology, ophthalmology, ENT, and general consultation.
Additionally, the hospital has a specialized X-ray suite equipped with a digital X-ray machine as well as a diagnostic suite encompassing MRI, CT scan, and endoscopy facilities.
Moreover, patients and visitors can enjoy access to a Healing Garden, designed to foster healing, relaxation, and enhancement of overall well-being.
The Presidential/VIP Wing, completed well on schedule and on budget, also showcases a Catheterization Laboratory (Cath lab), two operating rooms for regular procedures, and special procedures such as organ transplants.
The Permanent Secretary of the State House, Tijjani Umar, described the medial center as “a one stop shop for the provision of medical services.”
He said it offered a range of medical facilities, adding that it will be a yardstick for the provision of quality healthcare to all Nigerians.
Umar, thanked the First Lady for her unmatched advocacy and support and also thanked President Buhari for achieving the construction on schedule and on budget.