The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari over his recent comments that Nigerians lessen their resort to medical treatment outside the country, saying he “leads on the medal table”.
The PDP made its position in a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, on Sunday.
President Buhari, who was represented Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, at the inauguration and handover of completed projects at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Friday, had said medical tourism “is not good for us and it must stop” due to the high cost.
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But the PDP described the president’s statement as self-indicting and raising “high levels deceit in governance”.
According to the main opposition political party, it is absurd that the president will ask Nigerians to stop patronising foreign hospitals when his administration has failed to provide adequate healthcare facilities and policies and also frequently visits overseas hospitals for check-up and treatment.
“Our party describes as ridiculous, a situation where a President, who patronises foreign hospitals for treatment & even check-ups; whose administration has failed to provide adequate healthcare in his country could turn around to pontificate to other citizens against foreign treatment.
“While the PDP do not approve of proliferated foreign medical tourism, especially by leaders & public office holders, our party holds that a leader who has failed to lead by example and whose government has neglected and wrecked our healthcare systems, lacks all rectitude to issue directives against foreign treatment.
“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 demoralised workforce worse than his 1983 recollections.”
The PDP alleged that the Buhari administration has failed to capitalise on the gains made by previous PDP administrations in healthcare by rolling back policies such as the National Strategic Health Development Plan, Saving One Million Lives Initiatives and the National Health Insurance Scheme among others.
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The party also claimed that majority of the Federal Government-run hospitals lack the modern medical equipment needed to carry out various types of surgeries and treat different ailments.
The PDP urged President Buhari to demonstrate the sincerity of his statement by leading by example in patronising Nigerian healthcare centre.
“Consequently, the PDP urges President Buhari to show example by patronising a Nigerian public hospital on his next medical appointment so that he can experience the healthcare reality that our citizens have been subjected to under his government,” the statement read.