THE PROPOSED REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
A WORLD IGBO CONGRESS FACILITATED INITIATIVE
Nigerian healthcare policy, governance and practice have been described as under-developed. It has remained static since independence even with the introduction of Primary Healthcare policy in the 1980s and the Nigerian National Health Insurance policy in 2005. Implementations of both policies have been abysmally poor, and so they have not made any impact.
Although Nigeria has one of the largest stocks of human resources for health (HRH) in Africa, it is among 58 HRH crisis countries which have densities of nurses, midwives and doctors that are still too low to effectively deliver essential health services (1.95 per 1,000). The health workforce is concentrated in urban tertiary health care services delivery in the southern part of the country, particularly in Lagos (HRH Country Profile: Nigeria, WHO GHWA, 2008). This inequity has been attributed to:
- lack of public and private sector coordination;
- commercial pressures in the private sector that lead to poor quality work;
- work environments that contribute to low motivation, less-than-optimal productivity, high attrition – especially from rural areas; and
- lack of planning based on staffing projection needs resulting in an overproduction of some categories of health workers (Federal Republic of Nigeria HRH Strategic Plan 2008-2012).
Regardless of the lack of goodwill by the government to promote efficient healthcare delivery, infections, cardiovascular related diseases, diabetes, cancers and trauma continue to be major health issues in Igbo land, Nigeria and most of the developing Countries. These diseases with their complications account for almost seven of every ten deaths annually. Mortality rates are significantly higher than in developed Countries due largely to unavailability of adequately equipped and staffed health Institutions. There are presently no tertiary care Institution in Igbo land to treat these complex cases resulting in referrals outside the country for the few who can afford the colossal costs. The less fortunate ones are abandoned to their fate and subsequently succumb to untimely death often at the prime of life and earning capacity. World Igbo Congress as part of its overall vision to rebuild and restore Igbo land feels the need to stimulate the filling of this vacuum as the government is showing inability to provide for all the healthcare needs of its citizens without private enterprise partnership.
Igbo land is blessed abundantly with internationally reputable health professionals able to meet these challenges in providing International standard care locally to our people. World Igbo Congress is charting a bold path, a new beginning through this Regional Medical Center of Excellence (RMCE) to fulfill this long yearning and aspiration of our people without the means to seek expert care abroad. With over 200 health professionals in different subspecialties, collaborative centers in North America and Western Europe working with the WIC, it has moved to bring together investors desirous to bring affordable health care close to the people. The WIC-facilitated RMCE will comprise a 150 bed Specialty hospital, Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied health and technology including staff quarters and ancillary facilities being developed on a public private partnership (PPP) paradigm. To facilitate the WIC vision of real time local and international collaboration, the center will be equipped with high speed internet through the best broadband technology for telemedicine (already secured)
WIC is catalyzing government/private sector participation in a regional people-oriented enterprise to build capacity in Igbo land to serve the Igbo and their neighbors and indeed Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. The RMCE will be manned by some of the world’s leading healthcare professionals. Individuals in this team are already at the heart of health reform and practice for many decades in renowned health centers of excellence in North America and Europe. Most are holding senior positions in the private and public sector and are prominent members of highly influential think tanks and associations. They want to ensure that the best the world can offer in health care delivery is made available and affordable to our people. Never should our people have to go abroad for health care at colossal costs, resources, life and misery. Never again should our people die helplessly because of lack of medications or properly trained personnel.
KEY INNOVATIVE ELEMENTS
The key innovative elements of the proposed RMCE are as follows:
- World class state of the art facility
- Manned by:
- over 200 health Care Professionals with proven track record of excellence in current practice in renowned health institutions in the US and Europe
- local health professionals mentored by the international professionals
- Rapid response powered by Broad-band technology for real-time tele-medicine through intercontinental collaborative diagnosis and treatment
- Collaborative care management and delivery with renowned healthcare institutions in the US and Europe
- Reversal of medical pilgrimage to foreign lands
The RMCE, as proposed and facilitated by the WIC aims at delivery of comprehensive healthcare services in all major specialties including Critical Care, Emergency medicine, Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Surgery. Training and Research, Pharmacy and Nursing/Allied Health Technology Schools will also be established. RMCE will be a leading provider of management and strategic consulting services for private hospitals, State Government and Federal Government owned Teaching and Specialist hospitals. In addition to providing health care, RMCE will conduct high-quality, independent research into uniquely local illnesses and traditional medicine. It will provide innovative, practical recommendations that advance healthcare in various areas including the following:
- Health Information Technology (HIT)
- Healthcare Policy and Management
- Health Data Exchange and Interoperability
- Payment Processes/Fraud and Abuse Prevention
- Cancer diagnosis and treatment
- Orthopedics, Trauma and Critical Care
- Cardiovascular services including cardiac catheterization, invasive cardiology and open heart surgery
- Neurologic surgery
- Advanced gynecologic surgery
- Transplantation surgery
WHY A RMCE IS NUMBER ONE PRIORITY FOR NDI IGBO
Not long ago, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Eze Igbo gburu gburu, was befallen with stroke at his home in Enugu. Before he could be airlifted to a specialist hospital in London, the situation had worsened. Several months later, the Ikemba was brought back from the foreign land—dead. The epitome of Igbo culture, Professor Chinua Achebe, had to reluctantly relocate to a foreign land, where he finally drew his last breath; of course, because of inadequate healthcare facilities in the homeland. The unfortunate circumstances leading to the death of former Senate President, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, do not need to be retold here. Another former Senate President, Chief Evans Enwerem, would die tragically while seeking an air ambulance required to transport him to Germany for superior medical treatment. Enter the former Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, who gave up the ghost in faraway India. Or, do we dare forget the late music maestro, Chief Osita Osadebe? The legend had to endure most of the last years of his life in the inclement cold weather of North East America, where he eventually passed on. At the time of this publication, Nigeria is still mourning the untimely loss of the iconic former Minister of Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, who had shown every propensity to die for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and would have preferred to die in Nigeria, but ended up dying this June in the Republic of India. These are to name just a few.
One needs not be told that most of such outcomes would have been different if there is an advanced medical facility in the local environment, particularly Igboland. But also notice that these cases only represent the rich and famous. You might as well use your tongue to count your teeth—to imagine what the ordinary Igbo masses are going through.
Yet, the most troubling is that the Igbo–a nation acclaimed for prudence–has always boasted the very best not only in the medical world but also in financial resources. How then can the wise be this thirsty in abundance of water? How?
The answer to this question is what has provoked the leadership of World Igbo Congress (WIC) to place the launching of a Regional Medical Center of Excellence (RMCE) in Igboland–as the central project for its forthcoming 20th Anniversary Annual Convention. The RMCE is a Public-Private-Partnership and will be “manned by over 200 health Care Professionals with proven track record of excellence in current practice in renowned health institutions in the US and Europe…and rapid response powered by broad-band technology for real-time tele-medicine through intercontinental collaborative diagnosis and treatment .” (See: www.worldigbocongress.com). The goal is to provide excellent healthcare services to the rich as well as the poor and consequently curtail the reigning medical pilgrimage depleting the Nigeria’s national economy.
Nsokpo Autonomous Community in Ogbaku, Imo State has donated a 50 acre prime property on Onitsha/Owerri express way. WIC is extremely grateful to HRH Eze B. A. Onyeanwu and his community (shown below) for their magnanimity towards this noble Igbo cause
Be a part of this positive change and commit your very best.
WIC PROJECT RESOURCE AND CONTACT PERSONS
Jonathan Nwiloh, MD
Chair, Health Affairs Committee, World Igbo Congress
Georgia Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgical Associates
960 Johnson ferry Rd, Suite 518
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 944 6942
(678) 904 5182
LEO EGBUJIOBI, PHARM. D., M.D., FACC, FACP
Member Health Affairs Committee, World Igbo Congress
Beloit Health System
1969 W Hart Rd
Beloit, WI 53511
(608) 364 5206
Engr. Joe Nze Eto
Chairman, World Igbo Congress, Inc.
Sets Engineering Services
Soil and Environmental Testing Services, Incorporated
5883 Heritage Lane, Stone Mountain, GA 30087
(770) 545 45139
Professor Anthony Ejiofor
6937 Stone Run Drive
Nashville, TN 37211
(615) 830 2078
(615) 963 5806