Medical Tourism: University of Calabar Teaching Hospital upgrades facilities

Eme Offiong, Calabar

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Determined to provide its patients with quality healthcare services and check medical tourism, the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, has upgraded its equipment and facility.

The Chief Medical Director, CMD, of the tertiary healthcare facility, Professor Ikpeme Asanye Ikpeme, during a chat with Voice of Nigeria in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, south-south Nigeria, said that the interventions would expand the services offered at the hospital and hopefully encourage citizens’ patronage.

Interventions

Professor Ikpeme said that since his assumption two years ago, the UCTH has remodelled the Antenatal Clinic, labour ward and introduced keyhole surgeries in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department.

He also noted that the hospital acquired a 4D Ultrasound scanner, 32 slice Computerized Tomography, CT, scanner in the Radiology Department and automated its laboratories.

The CMD further disclosed that the UCTH was gradually moving from the paper clerking system to electronic for more efficient and faster intervention.

“Prior to this time, it was not possible to have X-rays done in the Department of Radiology. But, now we have 4D ultrasound scanners, a 32 slice CT scanner so that patients, who come here and need radiologic intervention, do not go elsewhere. We have automated our laboratories. In fact, our medical microbiology laboratory is now a designated AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) reference laboratory,” Ikpeme said.

According to him, “We are moving from when patients came here, consulted and needed to go outside to have investigations done. What we have now is a situation where most of the investigations are done in-house both in radiology and in the labs.”

On patients’ information and records, he stated, We are deploying electronic health information management system. Ultimately, we are moving from a paper clerking system to an electronic clerking. We are doing that from one department to another. This will make for faster intervention, no need to move paper from place to place. It will be an end to the loss of patients’ data or medical history.

“In the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, we have introduced new services, laparoscopic surgery and hysteroscopy. These are keyhole surgeries,” the CMD stated.

Others, he said, were opening a Dialysis centre, remodelling its Dental Clinic equipped with state-of-the-Arts machines and establishing a female orthopaedic ward sponsored by North-West Petroleum.

Ikpeme noted that despite the paucity of funds, the hospital was able to acquire the equipment from Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, stressing The interventions are to improve on the scale of services and build on what my predecessors did. This is just to make us a teaching hospital indeed and in truth and hopefully control medical tourism.”

NCDC COVID-19 Interventions

Professor Ikpeme, a consultant in Orthopaedics and Traumatology, disclosed that the Nigerian Government was sponsoring the establishment of a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit as part of its COVID-19 intervention at the hospital, which on completion would be transformational.

Ikpeme affirmed, The new 10-bed Level 3 ICU is a specific Federal Government funding under the COVID intervention. The ICU is set up at the tertiary level nationwide. You can imagine having this level of ICU around the country – the equipment are top-notch; the same equipment you find anywhere in the world.”

He stated that Nigeria’s National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, was equally assisting the hospital to build a 30-bed isolation centre to complement the existing 4-room block used for the treatment of critically infected COVID patients.

Our facility is a work in progress. There is so much to be done here. We are making every effort to give our patients quality services at affordable rates. We are all focused on achieving universal health coverage and providing affordable healthcare for our people irrespective of status, he added.

PIAK

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