The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) held its ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) which will serve low and high income patients from across the entire West Africa region.
The President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah said the world-class 500-bed ACME hospital is meant to reduce the outflow of over 7 billion US dollars spent annually on medical tourism.
He added that annually a large number of Africans is seeking for better medical services outside the continent which is not encouraging.
“The partnership is meant to improve the health sector. The project came out of my personal experience in 2013. I was so ill and nearly died. I spent nine months getting treated. I was evacuated to King’s College Hospital in London, where I come under the care of specialists. More than 200,000 Africans travel to Asia alone for medical services every year.”
“Our healthcare systems and infrastructure have not kept pace with the changing needs of Africa. The free export of African health care professionals also poses a threat to continental security, particularly in this era of biological warfare, and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to generate the good the bad and the ugly.Today, Africa is a major exporter of human capital “.
Speaking at the event, President Muhammadu Buhari said AMCE will provide world class medical services at par with the world’s best hospitals.
“The AMCE, a 500-bed specialist facility, will provide services in the areas of oncology, cardiology, and haematology and will seek to address the significant shortage of clinical care options in the West African sub-region.
The partnership demonstrates that Afreximbank is not only Africa’s trade finance partner, but its developmental in all sector. This is truly a team effort “.
The President also commended the Ministers of Health, Trade and Investment, Foreign Affairs, and Federal Capital Territory for their tireless support in ensuring that the project is successful.”
He further added that partnership with the private sector will help in improving health facilities and access in the country.
“The landmark hospital project will significantly transform the healthcare sector in West African sub-region. The challenges faced in the health sector require collective will, partnership and more resources, especially in tackling brain drain. The nation needs a healthy population to prosper”.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire called on more investors to place interest in the health care sector, by engaging in partnership that will improve the health care system.
“We need more investors that have faith in the country to show interest by partnering with relevant stakeholders. Our hospitals also need to improve in terms of facility management so that average citizen can benefit from the health care services.”
The African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) project is being implemented by African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) in partnership with the Federal Government, Kings College Hospital, London, University of Winsconsin Teaching Hospital, USA and Christies Hospital, Manchester.