Aster DM Healthcare, a leading integrated healthcare services provider in Asia, has entered into a partnership agreement with a leading university hospital in Nigeria. Aimed at addressing the need gaps in the Nigerian healthcare sector, the partnership with Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) will see the Company setting up centres of excellence across specialities and also a Telemedicine unit managed by Aster DM Healthcare’s internationally certified specialists, the majority of whom are from Aster’s network of 11 hospitals in India.
The announcement came against a wider backdrop of Nigeria scoring poorly among United Nations member-states, ranked 187th among a total 191 countries. Nigeria’s average expenditure on healthcare stands at $118 (per capita), and this when compared to countries in the European Union that spend up to EUR 2797 or $3281, is significantly less.
Furthermore, as far as the doctor-patient ratio is concerned, Nigeria currently stands at 1:2,500, as opposed to a minimum ratio of 1:1000 recommended by WHO. This is largely due to the migration of Nigerian doctors for whom the UK and the US are preferred destinations to seek employment.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, said: “Our partnership will address the gaps in the healthcare sector in Nigeria which is in urgent need for quality services. As a result, patients from the country often seek quality healthcare solutions overseas, and India is a recipient of thousands of medical tourists from Nigeria each year. Aster DM Healthcare, guided by our core mission to provide quality healthcare that is affordable and accessible, is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the local population through a spectrum of services provided by our Centres of Excellence.”
Aster Centers of Excellence have a reputation of providing quaternary care that are highly specialised. These centres cut across various specialities such as neuroscience, cardiac, orthopaedic, and oncology, among others.
Dr Harish Pillai, CEO of Aster DM Healthcare, India said, “The operations and management agreement with ABUAD is expected to further boost the collaboration between India and Nigeria, offering access to high-quality health care services for thousands of patients in West Africa. More importantly, our on-the-ground presence will further equip the ABUAD medical staff who in turn will now be able to provide solutions to complex medical issues relating to cardiac, neuroscience, orthopaedic, renal diseases, and cancer care, among others.”
Aare Afe Babalola, Founder of ABUAD said, “This partnership has enabled us to bring quality healthcare at the doorsteps of our people. Now a patient can easily avail advance medical treatment at an affordable rate. We are aware that the healthcare infrastructure of Nigeria is just not enough to cater to the growing demand, hence our aim is to improve the medical facilities which will ultimately reduce the dependency on medical tourism abroad. We are certain that this step will leave a positive impact on our society.’’
Keeping in mind the poor doctor-patient ratio in Nigeria, Aster DM Healthcare has also set up a Telemedicine unit in ABUAD that essentially provides services such as Tele Consulting, Tele Diagnosis and Tele Management, enabling patients to seek expert advice and virtual treatment from Aster’s specialists from across the world, including in India.