The Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday said the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), leads on the medal table of Nigerians who travel overseas for medical treatment.
Buhari, represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, during the inauguration and handover of completed projects to the management of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki on Friday, had said that Nigerians should not continue going abroad for medical treatment.
He said, “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.”
However, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said Buhari’s comment was self-indicting and raised public apprehensions on alleged high-level deceits in governance.
He said a situation where a President, who patronises foreign hospitals for treatment and even check-ups; whose regime has allegedly failed to provide adequate healthcare in Nigeria, could turn around to pontificate to other citizens against foreign treatment.
He stated the PDP do not approve of proliferated foreign medical tourism, especially by leaders and public officeholders.
He added that a leader, who has failed to lead by example and whose government has allegedly neglected and wrecked the nation’s healthcare systems, lacks all rectitude to issue directives against foreign treatment.
He, consequently, urged Buhari to show an example by patronising a Nigerian public hospital on his next medical appointment so that he can experience the healthcare reality that Nigerians have been subjected to under his government.
Ologbondiyan said, “Mr President can then discover that our health system has suffered untold neglect under his watch, leading to dilapidated infrastructure, empty drug shelves, decrepit and worn-out equipment, brain-drain and a demoralized workforce worse than his 1983 recollections.
“It is even more disheartening that all the investments and robust programmes of successive PDP administration, including the comprehensive National Strategic Health Development Plan, Saving One Million Lives Initiatives, National Health Insurance Scheme, among others, have been degraded and impaired by the dysfunctional APC administration.
The PDP spokesman said the nation’s health care would have continued to flourish but for the alleged disruption of PDP’s people-based healthcare programs by the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress administration.
He stated that the perceived APC administration’s neglect for the national health need was reflected in successive budgetary allocations under Buhari.
Ologbondiyan said, “Even in the 2020 budget, only N427.3bn (4.5% of the budget) is provided for the health need of over 186 million Nigerians. Indeed, this is not the way to go.”
He, therefore, charged Buhari to end his perceived rhetoric by taking concrete steps to improve on the nation’s healthcare system so that Nigerians can have access to adequate and affordable healthcare at all levels.