Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday, inaugurated the first state-owned helipad for medical emergencies in Nigeria at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja.
The governor, while commissioning the project and inspecting medical facilities at the LASUTH complex, disclosed that the upgrading of the 247-bed and five Theatre Suits for pregnant women, popularly called Ayinke House, would be ready for use by 2017, just as he announced termination of contracts of all abandoned projects at the complex.
He also disclosed that the Bola Tinubu Health and Diagnostic Centre would soon become operational, saying this was part of efforts to transform the health sector in the state for optimal performance.
Ambode described the helipad as a lifesaving asset. “This helipad being commissioned is a lifesaving asset and critical complement to the efficient functioning of this Unit and other emergency services being rendered by the state. It will also aid the movement of patients from remote areas where healthcare facilities to provide the level of emergency medicine required are not readily available.
“Over the years, we have witnessed emergency situations which require timely movement of victims to appropriate medical facilities, keeping in mind that every minute matters in securing the lives of people. Helicopters have, therefore, become an efficient and reliable option which can only be made possible with the availability of helipads within the hospital environment.
He recalled that barely a month ago, a 27-bed Critical Care Unit was commissioned in LASUTH to provide life and organ support system for critically ill patients who required intensive monitoring and post-operative treatment.
He added that aside the fact that government would intensify efforts to acquire an Air Ambulance to complete the cycle, the helipad would be operated by specially trained personnel who would give 24-hour service, guarantee expert medical care during emergency transfer and safe landing at all times.
“With the support of our hardworking and dedicated personnel in the health sector, we are confident that we will achieve our set objectives in the health sector, save lives and guarantee a healthy State,” Governor Ambode said.
Earlier, the State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris said by the commissioning of the helipad, LASUTH was now on the verge of being elevated as level one Trauma Centre, adding that the helipad was the first to be certified in the country for any state government.
Also, the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Professor Adewale Oke, said the helipad was an eloquent confirmation that Governor Ambode was an achiever and deserved to be commended.
He also announced that Governor Ambode had directed that motorists should not be charged for parking at LASUTH.