Medical tourism: FIT Healthcare, Lokman Hekim Hospitals partner to prioritise patient care in Nigeria

By Sola Ogundipe

Towards reducing or eliminating the penchant for medical tourism in Nigeria, the Finance Investment and Trade Group, FIT Healthcare /Group, in partnership with Lokman Hekim Health Group of Turkey, are collaborating to prioritise patient care in Nigeria.

The CEO, FIT Healthcare/FIT Group, Chief Loretta Aniagolu, told journalists in Lagos that Lokman Hekim Group which also owns a University of Medicine in Turkey, was making its expansion to Africa from Nigeria.

Aniagolu said that FIT Healthcare was building a medical city that is the first of its kind in  Nigeria in Enugu, Enugu state.

She affirmed that the presence of Lokman Hekim in Nigeria would bridge the gap of medical tourism in the country, noting that the proposed 250-bed hospital project would be a full diagnostic, treatment, and trauma center, offering first class services in Nigeria, and providing modern and cutting-edge medical treatment and services.

“Our collaboration with them is instructive because their business model makes sense to us. Our vision with this medical city, ultimately, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, that we are building in Enugu, is to be the gold standard reference for healthcare services in West Africa.” 

Noting that FIT is bringing a fresh perspective to the use of Real Estate services, Aniagolu explained that the approach in working with Lokman Hekim is in three areas.

“The first area is the seamless patient transfer, as a precursor till when the hospital is completed. Second is the training of doctors, and third is operation of the hospital when it is completed.

“They (Lokman Hakim Group) have a University of Medicine, and we are collaborating with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital and the Catholic University medical schools in Enugu, where doctors can go through an exchange programme and can also be trained in Turkey.

“This is so that by the time the hospital is ready, we would have in the pipeline a stream of well-trained doctors who understand the culture of Lokman Hekim and can apply efficient and professional services to the hospital to make sure the standard being operated is world-class.”

Aniagolu observed that the costs of embarking on medical tourism to foreign countries were prohibitive making the collaboration a testament to the good thing to come to Nigerians because the cost of seeking medical tourism would be reduced drastically.

Also speaking, the Chairman, of world-classFIT Healthcare, Dr. Michael Ileka,  said Lokman Hekim Health Group will share their wealth of knowledge and expertise which will play a vital role in creating an ecosystem that prioritises patient care, innovation, and community well-being in the shared vision of the state of the art medical tourism facility.

“FIT Group of companies, the parent company of FIT Healthcare Ltd is building the first medical city in Nigeria while delivering world class medical tourism in Nigeria, to serve Africa and other foreign countries of the world.

“We are privileged to have Lokman Hekim, one of the largest private hospitals in Turkey which is quoted in the Turkish Stock Market as a technical partner and operator.

“While the Turkish Group boasts of information, accreditation and certification that its operation meets world-class safety and quality standards, the Nigeria partner has a 250-bed multi-speciality hospital which will be supported by the 150-bed Hilton Hotel, and other facilities amid 1,000 residencies, all located in 1.2 million square meters of land along the Enugu Port Harcourt International Airport Way, Enugu.”

Ileka explained that the project is to be completed in 2027, but in the interim, through the partnership, medical treatment is being made physically accessible and affordable to Nigerian patients through a patient transfer service to first-class health facilities in Turkey.

Also speaking, the CEO of Lokman Hekim Group, Mr Alpers Incoez, expressed commitment to the collaboration to end medical tourism in Nigeria.

“I’m grateful for the hard work and dedication behind the partnership between the Lockman Hekim Group and FIT Healthcare teams. I like to express the heartfelt success of the seamless patient transfers that we reference as part of the pillar to build and operate the healthcare system in Nigeria,” he asserted.

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