Ethiopia wants Indian hospitals as healthcare hub for Africa.
New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) Impressed with some of India’s private hospitals and the quality of healthcare they provide, Ethiopia wants them to open branches in that country so that they become a medical hub for entire Africa.
An Ethiopian delegation was in India this week with the twin aim of learning from India’s health sector and small and medium enterprises.
“We felt that it will mutually benefit Ethiopians and the Indian private sector if they come to Ethiopia, especially Addis Ababa, and open branches, so that they attract not only Ethiopians but also other Africans,” Redwan Hussien, head of the delegation, told IANS.
The delegation, which included the health minister of the Addis Ababa city administration, met representatives of private hospital chains like Fortis Healthcare and Moolchand Healthcare.
“In the last seven-eight years, we have been growing at double digits and the middle class has been booming, so people can afford to go out of the country for medical treatment,” said Hussien, a senior official in the city administration.
Addis Ababa, a city of 3.3 million, is also home to a substantial number of foreigners. It is the headquarters of the African Union and other international institutions. “Since Ethiopian Airlines is a major African airways, Addis Ababa is also a major transit point for Africans from other countries,” said Hussien.
But there is no equivalent level of specialized medical treatment available inside the country. “Most people travel to South Africa, or Bangkok or come all the way to India,” he said.
After discussions with private health providers, Hussien said that “Fortis Bangalore were really interested in going to Addis Ababa.”
A memorandum of understanding is being drafted and may be signed soon.
Hussien said space will be given in an existing Ethiopian hospital to set up a specialized treatment unit. Also, Indian doctors will be teaching their Ethiopian counterparts as part of the transfer of technology.
On the small and medium enterprises sector, Ethiopia is also looking towards Indian trainers to come to Africa. “We want Indian experts to come and teach in about 4-5 areas that we have drawn up,” he said.
The delegation also met with the Mayor of Delhi Prithviraj Sawhney and invited him to visit Ethiopia.