Lagos Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed the state’s readiness to put its weight behind efforts to reverse medical tourism in Nigeria. He expressed this view at the launch of Marcelle Ruth Cancer Centre over the weekend even as the Chairman of the hospital, Mr. Bolaji Odunsi commended the role of Polaris Bank in making the project a reality.
In his welcome address at the launch, Mr. Odunsi, who went down memory lane, applauded the invaluable contributions of various stakeholders and partners in both the public and private sectors of the economy who assisted in making the vision of Marcelle Ruth Cancer Centre, a reality.
The Chairman who acknowledged the contribution of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Polaris Bank, said, “We have been beneficiaries of the Covid-related healthcare intervention fund and in particular we want to mention the support of Polaris Bank who helped us navigate the process. Without them, things would have been a lot more difficult.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu described the hospital as a story of courage, resilience, forthrightness, tenacity and the willingness not to give up, and used the opportunity of the launch to intimate guests at the occasion about Lagos State’s intervention strategies in the health sector.
The Lagos helmsman further added that: “We are donating one specialist cancer centre within the next 12 months to add to MRCC and the oncology center in LUTH. Looking at the statistics, we need ten more just to scratch the surface based on the number of cancer patients we are seeing. This is part of the medical infrastructure transformation project we are working on which cuts across all the disciplines of health – primary, secondary and tertiary.
Earlier in her remarks, the visioner and Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Dr. Mrs Modupe Elebute-Odunsi, who was full of thanks and gratitude to everyone who have been part of the journey which has spanned over 30 years, described Marcelle Ruth as a hospital aiming to achieve international standards in the middle of Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Dr. Elebute-Odunsi re-echoed Governor Sanwo-Olu’s vision of reversing medical tourism saying, “Mr Governor, I must say that we share your vision and your passion to reverse medical tourism in Nigeria. We need to do it together, between the private and public sectors because this is the time.
Continuing, the MRCC CEO spoke of her pride at the hospital housing qualified specialists with local and international experiences. “Their ultimate aim, according to the experienced medical practitioner, ‘is to improve private healthcare by offering quality medical services in addition to specialist services such as urology, sickle cell research, and stem cell transplant, which are largely unavailable in the country”.
The centre also houses an imaging centre with CT; mammogram; ultrasound; X-Ray machines; modern laboratory services; two operating theatres; an eight-bed chemotherapy suite; a radiotherapy centre with a linear accelerator and brachytherapy, fifteen private en-suite rooms for in-patients; pharmacy and counselling service.
The well-attended launch drew top dignitaries from all walks of life including; Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Speaker House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, and her Kebbi & Ondo state counterparts Dr. Mrs Zainab S. Bagudu and Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu respectively. Also present at the launch was Mrs. Toyin Saraki, wife of the immediate past senate president.