A landmark has been reached in health care delivery in Nigeria as a private hospital in Abuja announced the acquisition of the latest laser surgical machine in the world.
The 120 watts Holmium "Moses" Technology laser machine, bought by Kelina Hospital, Abuja has a surgery time 25 per cent faster than the conventional 120 watts laser machine.
Briefing newsmen on the acquisition in Abuja on Monday, a urological surgeon in the hospital, Celsus Undie, said the equipment is the most powerful laser machine ever invented for human surgery.
The development is significant, as Nigerians are amongst the world's most prolific medical tourists, with a large number going abroad for treatments ranging from cardiac surgeries, neuro-surgeries, cosmetic surgeries, orthopedic surgeries, and renal transplant surgeries.
The rapid growth of foreign medical tourism by Nigerians is traceable to poor service delivery, lengthy waiting times and the absence of specialist services, among other flaws in their country's health care sector.
Mr Undie, who spoke for the management of the facility, said urology is the strongest aspect of the works of the hospital, among other surgical operations it carries.
He said though the machine came at a double cost, it has a greater advantage than the conventional 120 watts laser machine because operation time with the new machine is "better, faster and reduces blood loss during operation."
He noted that patients who undergo surgery with the machine will be discharged same day, unlike with the conventional machine, which could keep the patients in hospital up to three days or longer.
Mr Undie also noted that the cost of surgical operation is the same, irrespective of the machine used.
He said in a bid to make surgeries accessible for average Nigerians, the hospital management was partnering with Surgical Aid Foundation, a non governmental organisation, to sponsor patients who cannot afford the bill.
He said the NGO provides at least 50 per cent of some bills and in cases of widows and orphans, it pays the full bill.
Mr Undie said Nigerians no longer have to travel abroad for treatment as they can now receive adequate treatments in the country.
The programme manager of the Surgical AIDS Foundation, Abidemi Babatunde, said over 70 applications had been received from patients this year.
She said the organisation will be sponsoring surgeries for enlarged prostate, kidney stones, gynecological problems and other forms of surgeries.