During the 2015 campaign largely anchored on the need for ‘change’, the then opposition presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari promised to the High Heavens to put an end to medical tourism which in his view was a great drain pipe on the country’s resources.
Things took a different turn when he finally tasted power after four tortuous attempts. He has undertaken many medical trips abroad most notably in the United Kingdom where he spent more than three months at a time and was forced back home by the Nigerians resident there who staged many protests that must have scared the living daylight out of him.
As a public officer, he failed to disclose the nature of the illness and the amount of tax payers funds that was expended to cure the ailment. Nigerians especially his supporters were utterly disappointed as they were seeing a different Sai Baba as he is fondly called in power trapped with its corrupt perks.
In his words: “Nigerians have suffered so much going abroad for medical treatment. This is not good for us and it must stop because we can’t afford it again,” he said.
He stated this at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, during the inauguration and handover of completed projects to the management of the hospital.
This remark was rather hilarious and will make the legendary political satirical writer Eric Blair a.k.a George Orwell laugh to no end in his grave as it was nauseatingly hypocritical.
How can a man who has enjoyed public funds on his personal health challenges as the leader of the country suddenly turn around and say that his countrymen should stay back home and get themselves treated? He who comes to equity must come with clean hands my learned friends will say. What moral justification does he have to pontificate on this sensitive issue?
Zahra Indimi his daughter once alerted the nation to the fact that the Aso Rock clinic didn’t possess syringes despite the billions of naira being budgeted to it. If a whole Aso rock clinic doesn’t have something as basic as syringes, what is the fate of the clinics that the common man struggles to go to?
It is no news that many Nigerians lose their lives due to doctor’s negligence through misdiagnosis in many cases. The brightest and the best of the doctors in the nation are driven into economic exile abroad no thanks to the horrendous working conditions back home. I read the heart wrenching story of a doctor on the micro blogging site, twitter who said he was earning a mere one hundred naira per hour as a practicing doctor in Nigeria. When he relocated to Saudi Arabia, he nearly fainted when he received his first pay packet. This was despite the fact that while in Nigeria he was seeing close to two hundred patients on a daily basis while in the oil rich kingdom he was only seeing between five to seven. Many newly qualified Nigerian doctors rush to write foreign exams to enable them practice their trade in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia etc even some don’t mind other African countries like Ghana, South Africa, Botswana – anywhere other than this shit hole called Nigerian apologies to US President Donald John Trump.
The norm among most of our political elite is to die abroad as they lack faith in our healthcare facilities. Things are so bad with the local healthcare sector that India, a third world nation is now a popular destination for medical tourism among many Nigerians. We recall that the former Director-General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control and Information Minister, Professor Dora Akunyili passed on there. Many who cannot afford western treatment flock in droves there.
If Buhari has so much faith in the healthcare which has been under his watch for close to five years now, why does he hop at the slightest opportunity abroad for medical treatment? Why can’t he declare a state of emergency on the beleaguered sector and introduce radical reforms to it which will ensure that he leads by example by being treated at home? Up till now there is no mind blowing blueprint for a revitalization of the ailing sector and one wonders when this endless Godot wait will end!
Does Donald Trump get treated in Germany? Does Boris Johnson run to France for his healthcare needs? Does Angela Merkel travel to Brazil to consult a physician? The attitude of our leaders is scandalous to say the least.
It is high time that Buhari declared a state of emergency on the health sector as the common man doesn’t possess the economic means to treat themselves abroad and they also have a right to a sound healthcare.
He should walk the talk and match his words with action by refusing to travel abroad for his healthcare needs so that our local sector can be massively reformed.
We should stop being a laughing stock among the international comity of nations.
This cruel joke must cease!
Content created and supplied by: TonyAdemiluyi (via Opera News )
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