Remove Customs Duty On Medical Equipment, Group Tells FG

The Federal Government has been urged to remove tax on the importation of medical equipment to enhance quality healthcare delivery.
The Chief Medical Director of Afe Babalola University Multi-System Hospital, (AMSH) Ado Ekiti, Dr. Kolawole Ogundipe who made the call stated that such exemption will assist hospitals to procure needed equipment at affordable rates.
Ogundipe who said that the hospital was addressing medical tourism in the country with quality services stated this at a press conference heralding the 6th anniversary of the multi-system hospital at the weekend.
He said the 400-bed ultra-modern hospital was built by Aare Afe Babalola, the founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, to complement the medical training programme of the university.
The CMD recalled that the hospital which was commissioned in October 2017 commenced clinical services on March 21, 2018.
Speaking further on medical equipment tax exclusion, Ogundipe lamented that the hospital is faced with challenges associated with taxes in the course of procuring the medical equipment.
“We face challenges in procuring most the equipment we have here because we operate in Nigeria system where a lot of taxes are being imposed.
“The desire of the founder and those of us working with him had been to have a system in Nigeria that can reward people’s efforts in making equipment available for good healthcare delivery and by ensuring that these equipment are imported tax-free.
“That will basically reduce the cost of procuring the health equipment. In terms of consumables, virtually all we use in Nigeria are being imported and the exchange rate is in terms of dollars.
“And when they get to Nigeria, the cost has to be paid and it makes the price so high. Our desire is that they should consider medical equipment as exemptions and allow them to come in tax-free, so that the cost of procuring them will be less burdensome and we will have more centres to provide such facilities,” the CMD said.
On medical tourism, Ogundipe explained that a number of high profile people have visited the hospital as patients and have been well managed that they are now alive to testify on the quality of the treatment they received at the hospital.
“In actual fact, if we will look inward in Nigeria, believe and resort to what we have here in terms of infrastructure and equipment, we will successfully reverse medical tourism,” Ogundipe assured.
The former EKSUTH CMD also added that the hospital hires the best hands and has the most modern and sophisticated equipment to be the first-choice in Africa.
“It is on record that the Cardiac Unit has performed over a hundred procedures within five years of its establishment with an excellent success rate.
“The Dialysis Centre, starting with an average of 10 dialysis treatment every month about five years ago, the Renal Unit now performs over 400 Dialysis treatment sessions monthly. The hospital has performed 14 renal transplants since October 2021,” Ogundipe said.
On her part, ABUAD’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Smaranda Olarinde remarked that she observes her annual thorough medical checkup in the hospital.
“This is part of the testimony of the quality of services offered here. It speaks volumes, as VC, I used to choose foreign medical checkup but now, I don’t even need to go there. That is a testimony of the quality of services, equipment and most especially, quality of personnel at the hospital.”

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