Dearest President Buhari, yours truly will be writing you series of letters, and where and when necessary, shall seek audience with you. This particular letter is in view of your cabinet, appointees, all top federal civil servants and yet to be appointed ministers etc. Please, ban any person(s) that falls into this category from seeking overseas medical treatments. At best, make it a condition of their service under your government. You and your household should also be included on the ban.
The reasons are very simple. It is national disgrace when our leaders travel to another country in search of medical treatments. Ex President Yar Adua, was rushed to Saudi Arabia for treatment. Prior to that, he used to fly to Germany for treatments. Ex Head of State (IBB), used to fly to France, for medical treatments. Late Stella Obasanjo (former wife of Ex President Obasanjo) died in a Spanish hospital. Patience Jonathan went overseas for medical treatments. Former Governor of Enugu State spent nearly 6 months in a foreign hospital. Just recently Ex Governor of Akwa Ibom State (Akpabio) was rushed to an oversea’s hospital. This list is endless. The worst aspect is that they use state resources for personal/private treatments.
The idea of seeking overseas treatment has made our leaders not to equip the local hospitals. Leadership by example. When leaders abandon the Nigerian hospitals to overseas hospitals, they are simply telling the Nigerian masses to follow suit. Many Nigerians now go to India, South Africa and some other third world countries to seek medical attention. Nigerians must be spending billions on these medical tourisms. Ironically, the sum total of the money spent yearly by Nigerians, can help to furnish at least one hospital to an international standard, and help prevent these capital flights.
State of Emergency:
Please declare a state of emergency on our health sector. Health should be the number one priority of your government. A healthy nation is a wealthy nation. Health is wealth. In order for the suggested ban on overseas treatment to be effective, immediate action is needed on the health sector, this is in order to equip the hospitals and health centres. If your government cannot fund, fix or equip our hospitals, kindly consider to appeal to faith groups, banks, business establishments etc to invest in the heath sector. Your government can give them tax holidays if they decide to invest in the health sector. In India Major corporations like Tata, Max, Wockhardt, Apollo, etc have made significant investments in setting up modern hospitals.
But honestly there is no reason why Nigeria cannot equip her hospitals to international standards. If Cuba, under the worst economic sanctions of over 50 years, could develop their health services, and were able to send out about 30,000 medical doctors to (at some point, while facing sanctions) other developing countries, then Nigeria under you can equip her hospitals.
Reversing Medical Tourism.
Nigeria can actually reverse the medical tourism by Nigerians, by equipping our hospitals to international standards. We can as well attract people to come to Nigeria, for medical reasons. Same way we attracts many Christian tourists, coming for spiritual healing. Remember over one hundred (100) South Africans died at the Synagogue Church, when it collapsed. Nigeria can learn from Pentecostal Churches. According to Forbes India, medical tourism is estimated to the value of about $4 billion dollars yearly. So we can tap into this.
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