As part of efforts to avail quality eye-care services to Nigerians, Skipper Eye-Q Hospital has expanded its facility in Ilupeju, Lagos, even as the group explores strategies and schemes to avail poor citizens quality eye-care.
Speaking at the ceremony to mark the expansion in Ilupeju yesterday, the Founder of Skipper Eye-Q Group from India and Chief Medical Director, Skipper Eye-Q Nigeria, Dr. Ajay Sharma posited that the superb specialist Eye Hospital was established in Nigeria in 2017.
Dr. Sharma encouraged Nigerians to patronize the company for all kinds of eye treatment, assuring that the hospital facility had state-of-the-art equipment and skilled personnel to provide quality eye-care services.
His words: “This is our second centre in Nigeria and we have added superb facilities including operation centres. We have theatres and do surgeries for cataract and glaucoma. We also intend to commence surgeries for retina at this facility soon. We have treatment procedures and facilities for retina which is a very important part of the eye.”
“These are very expensive equipments that have been imported from the United States of America (USA), Europe and Asia. Big companies like Johnson Johnson and others produced these equipment. What we have done today is an expansion of our organization and there will be further expansion in seven or eight months. We are looking out for more space for more investments because we know that there is a high population in need of our services.”
He revealed that the company also made the services in Ilupeju more affordable to the people when compared to the charges in its branch in Victoria Island, Lagos because the group wants everyone to patronize its services.
“We have schemes for people to pay in installments and we are trying to introduce cards for people to be our members and have certain discounts. These are several strategies that we are still exploring. 20 years ago, Indians thought the best treatments were only available in other nations but today India has become a medical hub globally.”
“In Nigeria, with what we have achieved with our three centres we can say that there is a transition because these facilities can compete with the best in India. There is only one eye bank in Nigeria and that’s a difficult situation. We have done over 30 eye transplants in our facilities. So, for people who think that going out of the country is the only way to get the best eye care, they can get the best service in Nigeria. They will also be spending less because there will be no need for the travel expenses,” he explained.
Sharma also harped on the need to stop capital flight on account of healthcare, stressing that the money which goes to other countries for such services would be retained in Nigeria to grow the nation’s economy.
“We also don’t want brain drain to happen because there are good doctors in Nigeria that can work and earn good money in the country. Some Nigerian doctors train abroad and don’t want to come back, but we just heard from Dr. Temitope Tijani, who is our first Nigerian doctor. She is excited to be part of this team. She was initially trained in Nigeria but we also retrained her in India for every aspect of our operations. I can boldly say that she is very competent and probably better than many doctors in India,” he added.
At the ceremony to mark the expansion of the Ilupeju branch, Chairman of Skipper Eye-Q Nigeria Limited, Jitender Sachdeva said the development of the branch is part of the company’s expansion plan to see that cataract surgery is done at the facility.
Noting that the number of eye patients are mainly at the mainland, he stated, that it was one of the reasons the company expanded to open the branch in the area.
“This is part of our expansion. We opening today so that cataract surgery can be done here”, the Chairman said.
Also speaking, the Medical Director of Skipper Eye-Q Nigeria, Dr. Temitope Omowunmi Tijani, concurred that Skipper Eye-Q has brought quality eye care into Nigeria.
“The cost of air-flight to foreign nations is enough to get the quality eye care service in the country. Several people wait until they go blind with glaucoma because they are waiting to have enough money to travel abroad for treatment.”
“People shouldn’t wait until they have eye problems before they check their eyes. We offer several eye treatment services starting from basic treatments on issues like refractive errors to the more complex situations,” she said.
Dr. Tijani warned that self medication is never a good idea and encouraged Nigerians to patronize the three centres of the Skipper Eye-Q Hospital in Ilupeju and Victoria Island in Lagos and the recently launced centre in Abuja.
“Although I’m an opthalmologist, you can’t call me on phone and tell me you have a problem and expect to get a prescription from me. I would need to examine the eyes with a microscope before a prescription. Something as simple and requires no medication can clear, but somethings very minute in the eye could cause blindness if not treated in few weeks,” she said.