Super-specialIty hospital for Gambia soon
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
A team of medical experts from Pushpanjali Crosslay Hospital in India Tuesday discussed with the vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, the possibility of establishing a super-speciality hospital in The Gambia.
The team, which was led to State House by the Gambia’s High Commissioner to India, Dembo Badjie, is here to meet health authorities and the country's leadership with a view to expedite the process of making the super-speciality hospital a reality, with Brikama chosen as the suitable location to house the facility.
The planned super-speciality hospital would serve as a referral ground for chronic and other complicated health cases for The Gambia, and also for sub-regional referral cases.
Like the Pushpanjali Crosslay Hospital in India, the super-specialty hospital in The Gambia will offer a comprehensive care through both modern and complimentary alternative systems of medicine with a concentrated focus on preventive measures, among others.
Speaking to reporters shortly after an audience with the vice president, Dr Vinay Aggarwal, the president-elect of the Confederation of Medical Association in Asia and Oceania who is also the chairman and managing director of Pushpanjali Crosslay Hospital in India, dilated on the importance of their visit to the country. He cited the efforts of High Commissioner Badjie in this move, saying the latter visited them sometimes ago and came across facilities in their hospital, and subsequently encouraged them to visit The Gambia for possibilities of partnership with government and investing in the country.
“We are very keen to partner with The Gambia as far as health care is concerned,” he said, while stating that India is a country where all kinds of technology are available.
He disclosed that they have a lot of patients from countries across the globe, notably Afghanistan, Iraq and even Nigeria, among a host of others at the Pushpanjali Crosslay Hospital.
“We want to come out of India to come to Africa so that we can have an opening,” he stated.
Commenting on the three areas they wish to partner with The Gambia, Aggarwal said that they would engage with the country’s health sector in the form of capacity building and training including emergency medicine, among others, as well as consultancy. He applauded the government’s health sector for providing primary health care to the people of The Gambia, saying it is a system he had come to really admire within the few days he has been in the country.
Dilating on the challenges facing the country's medical sector, Aggarwal stressed the need for more capacity building, indicating that the government should put a mechanism in place whereby trained medical personnel must stay in a more conducive environment. “Gambia also needs to do a lot as far as the secondary health care is concern. This is what the super-specialty needs,” he said, while emphasising the need for the government of The Gambia to develop a partnership with them.
Elaborating on the difference between the super-speciality hospital and the normal hospitals in the country, Aggarwal explained that there are certain modern equipment and technology which can be found in the super-speciality hospital, but are not currently available in the country's health facilities. He said that having a super-speciality hospital in The Gambia doesn't mean that they are targeting only The Gambia, but the whole of West Africa, indicating that most of the patients from Africa would no longer need to travel to Europe because the cost of The Gambia's super-specialty hospital would be less.
Concerning its benefits to tourism, the Indian medical expert said the proposed hospital would serve as an opportunity for tourists across the world asthey would like to be assured of medical insurances. He pointed out that most tourists are old and that their priorities are mainly centred on health. “This, I tremendously hope would boost the tourism industry in the country,” he added.
Aggarwal also hinted that they will be meeting the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on the feasibility study for the Brikama site.
Author: Bekai Njie