The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed on Tuesday has said the $12 million Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) – Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Cancer Centre – (NLCC) will treat 80 cancer patients daily and also help to stem the usual practice of medical tourism in Nigeria.
The Minister, while speaking at the commissioning of three facilities at NLCC in Lagos, said “the centre would impact other centres in Nigeria through the provision of qualified personnel, as it has the capability to also train practitioners using the equipment”.
According to her, the ultra-modern cancer centre that was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari last year would see to the treatment of 80 cancer patients daily on various categories of treatment, as high technology investments have been deployed.
She posited that the aim of the investment was to reduce medical tourism outside the country and attract patients from all over Nigeria and neighboring countries to Nigeria to receive treatment.
“What we have here is a piece of very high technology equipment that is obtainable anywhere in the world. It has a training centre, which will operate with the knowledge and skills of our radiologists, physicists and other personnel to continue to provide excellent care to the patients in Nigeria.
“This is the first of its kind and there would be replications of this in other parts of the country. Right now, the average cost of treatment in this centre is N900,000″, she said.
“This is a treatment for six weeks and when you compare the cost of treatment in Ghana, which is $10,000 and Europe or America, which ranges from $15,000 to $18,000, you would believe that ours is very affordable and this comes with cost savings in terms of foreign exchange for our country”, the minister added.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunimbe Mamora, said cancer patients would not have the reason to go abroad for treatment anymore, as they would receive world-class treatment at a cheaper rate.
Sen. Mamora affirmed that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) had been up-scaled to become mandatory as supposed to what it used to be, adding that the more people comply with the scheme, the better for the health system.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the state was delighted that the high technology development happened in LUTH, saying it’s a golden opportunity for the state and nation at large.