NMA’s ex-president flays medical tourism by public office holders
FORMER President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Osahon Enabulele, has flayed the apparent disdain of the nation’s political class and their lack of patronage for medical facilities in the country.
Enabulele may have alluded to the recent flying out of Senator Godswill Akpabio for medical attention following an accident in Abuja after same victim had a couple of months back commissioned an “ultra modern” health facility as former governor of Akwa Ibom State.
He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to make a policy statement on the utilisation of healthcare services in the country by political office holders.
In an interview with The Guardian in Benin City yesterday, Enabulele who is the Vice President Commonwealth Medical Association, said he expected the President, to have, during his inaugural address to the nation, declared that he and members of his family and public office holders should utilise health facilities and personnel available in the country and would only do otherwise in compliance with the National Health Act.
He contended that the non-utilisation of the nation’s health facilities was a disservice.
“Rather than utilise health facilities they claim to have constructed in their communities and therefore inspire citizens within their jurisdiction to do same, most of Nigeria’s political and public office holders take delight in travelling abroad for medical care under government sponsorship and at the expense of tax payers,” Enabulele said.
The ex-NMA chief lamented that “these travels, which are sometimes for very basic medical conditions, have largely contributed to the humongous capital flight out of Nigeria, to the tune of well over $1 billion with the Indian economy and hospitals securing over 50 per cent of this capital outflow due to foreign medical travels.”
Enabulele said it was always “shameful” to see Nigerian public officers stay on queues in foreign hospitals for basic medical consultation and health check-up.