Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti ( ABUAD ), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Aster Group of Hospitals in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to halt medical tourism abroad by Nigerians.
ABUAD Founder, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), said the partnership will make the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital ( ABUADTH ) and Aster sign a pact in the areas of training, consultancy, the offering of technical expertise and in medical administration.
The MoU was signed on Tuesday, where it was agreed that Aster will offer short and long terms as well as the permanent partnership for smooth take off of ABUADTH.
Speaking after the memorandum was signed, Dr. Navin Pascal, who spoke on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aster, said the hospitals have subsidiaries in nine countries and had been receiving over patients from over 90 countries across the world.
He said it was sad that Nigeria loses over 35,000 doctors to advanced countries due to poor remunerations, saying the trend has been affecting healthcare service in the country.
“Aster has become a referral centre in the Middle East. Our partnership with ABUAD will be in the areas of training, technical and administration.
“What we will do is to train the doctors here so that ABUAD can be self-sufficient in having experts that can perform critical operations that can make the rich and middle-class Nigerians to see the hospitals as a better alternative.
“We appreciate the fact that ABUAD is working hard for humanity and Aster partnering with it will bring a paradigm shift in Nigeria’s health sector”, he said.
ABUAD Founder disclosed that a delegation will leave for Dubai on January 26 to perfect the MoU for enforcement.
Babalola said: “In this partnership, ABUADTH and Aster are equal partners. Though we agreed to long and short terms, the memorandum may be forever depending on its workability.
“Nigerians can’t afford to be spending so much on medical tourism and I have faith that this partnership will take the country will be a leading nation in healthcare services”.
He said the breaking down of medical equipment in critical areas like dialysis, oncology and cardiology was becoming embarrassing, urging Aster to bring in experts in biomedical engineering to train the experts in ABUADTH to prevent such from occurring in the hospital.