A little over three months ago, precisely on Tuesday 26th May, 2015, former governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio commissioned a brand new ultramodern 308-Bed State-of-the-art Medical Facility at Uyo.
With the commissioning, the expectation of the then governor was that the hospital which he described as “world class” will take care of the needs of most Nigerians who travel abroad for medical attention, thereby reducing the huge amount spent on medical tourism.
However, Akpabio failed to live up to this dream on Tuesday when he was flown out of the country for medical attention following his involvement in a car crash in Abuja after his convoy broke traffic light and crashed into the car of an US embassy official. He is reported to have visited UK NHS hospital in London for treatment.
Just to refresh your memory, we bring to you the speech by the then Governor Godswill Akpabio during the commissioning of the hospital.
“We lose billions of dollars every year to medical trips abroad. We have also lost a lot of people, not because we don’t have the expertise in the country.”
“We also decided to have a hospital that would answer to the needs of Nigerians in terms of advance health management and that was why we built the Ibom Specialist Hospital. It is not like a teaching hospital, it is like a quaternary hospital, it is higher than a teaching hospital. We are starting it with about six modular theatres with equipment, that if for instance you are doing a cardiological investigation on a patient, cardiologists from around the world can hook up to the theatre and see real time what is going on and make their contributions to the examination and operation. So, instead of rich and wealthy Nigerians and nationals of other West African countries going abroad, it is easier to come here.”
“Sometimes, people die in the air while being transported abroad for treatment. We wanted to shorten travel time for patients going abroad and at the same time get revenue for the state from health tourism……”