The President who has led Nigeria both as a military dictator and two terms now as elected civilian President and has so far spent 6th out of his final tenure should not be seen globetrotting in search of medical assistance for his personal medical challenges. The failure of president Muhammadu Buhari to use six years to fix the health infrastructure in Nigeria so as to stave off medical tourism that drains Nigeria of the much-needed foreign reserves is totally indefensible, reprehensible, despicable and it is a shame to the nation that the president is even defending this immoral behavior.”
With the aforementioned affirmation, the leading Civil Rights Advocacy group:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has rubbished the puerile and illogical position of the special Adviser on media and publicity Mr. Femi Adesina on why his principal travels oversees for medical tourism just as the Rights group told him to stop deceiving himself thinking he is convincing anyone about a matter that exposes the profound hypocrisy of his boss.
HURIWA recalled that the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina had reportedly revealed why his principal cannot seek medical attention in Nigeria.
HURIWA said the media quoted Mr. Adesina as saying that his boss, President Buhari could not be treated in Nigeria because he has his own medical team in the United Kingdom.
According to Mr. Adesina, the President has used the medical team for over 40 years, hence the need to continue seeking medical help in the country.
HURIWA quoted Femi Adesina as saying the aforementioned while defending Buhari’s frequent medical tour to the United Kingdom just as when asked why the President could not have been treated in Nigeria, Adesina told Channels Television’s Politics Today, “President Buhari has been with the same doctors and medical team for upward of 40 years. It’s advisable that he continues with those who know his medical history and that is why he comes to London to see them. He has used the same medical team for over 40 years. Once you can afford it, then stay with the team that has your history.”
In its reaction, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said President Buhari’s continuous junketing at huge expenses to the public in search of private health issues is a demonstration that he is a collosal failure as a political leader because as far as medical history is concerned, the current Nigerian President is the only leader in any civilized democracy that travels outside his nation in search of medical treatment. HURIWA said the globetrotting for medical tourism by President Muhammadu Buhari endangers national security and rubbishes national pride.
HURIWA added thus: “We recall that around June 2016, A leading Nigerian doctor had accused President Muhammadu Buhari of reneging on a promise to end “medical tourism” by seeking treatment in the UK. Statistics show that Nigerians spent $1bn (£690m) on foreign medical trips in 2013, most of which was unnecessary, said Dr Osahon Enabulele. Nigerian politicians were mostly treated by Nigerian doctors in the UK, he added.”
HURIWA also cited news reporr attributing to Dr Enabulele, vice-president of the Commonwealth Medical Association, as saying that it was a “national shame” that Mr Buhari went to the UK for treatment when Nigeria had more than 250 ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists, as well as a National Ear Centre. President Buhari should lead by example by using Nigerian doctors and facilities, and ensure government officials do not go abroad on “frivolous” medical trips, he added.”
HURIWA quoted Dr. Enabulele as revealing that the UK had more than 3,000 Nigerian-trained doctors, and the US more than 5,000, accusing the government of failing to address the brain drain by improving working conditions and health centres.
President Muhammadu Buhari, had in a speech delivered on his behalf to the Nigeria Medical Association in April 2019, said the government’s hard-earned cash would not be spent on treating officials overseas, especially when Nigeria had the expertise.
Besides, the Rights group said the President had personally condemned medical tourism which he claims drains Nigeria of resources just as HURIWA said it is hypocritical for the president to continue engaging in medical tourism.
In April 2019, the President Muhammadu Buhari had lamented that Nigeria loses over N400billion annually to medical tourism and urged stakeholders to join hands to find solution to it.
The president urged the course participants of the Senior Executive Course, SEC 41 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, to provide solutions to issues that could close the gaps in the institutional, legal and policy frameworks for funding universal healthcare delivery for the good of the country.
HURIWA then said: “If Buhari is honest, he would have deployed the right resources since 2015 to fix the health infrastructures and even build a state of the art medical centre to invite his British born medical doctors to relocate to Nigeria to avoid doing the same thing the President condemns. Also since 2015, the Nigerian National Assembly keeps voting billions of Naira to fund the running of the Presidential Clinics in Asorock but regrettable only few Months back the President’s Wife Aisha Buhari accused the management of the health facility in the President’s official complex of misusing the yearly budgets for the health institutions because according to her the clinics lacked common syringes. We in HURIWA are shocked that the same President that makes heavy weather of fighting corruption has done nothing about this damaging allegation of corruption made by his Wife but only Yesterday, the President administered Oath of secrecy on his staff in a bid to undermine the anti-graft crusade purportedly being carried out by the same Government “.