Comments on medical tourism allegedly attributed to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo by a media report on Thursday, August 24, have been debunked by the Director General, Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, who represented Prof. Osinbajo (SAN) at the event.
The said media report erroneously claimed that Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), at an event recently, had decried the enormous amount of money Nigerians spend on medical tourism in other countries, and that medical tourism was draining Nigeria’s reserves.
The remarks were allegedly made at a national health dialogue organised by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, PTCIJ, and other organisations.
In a statement, Okechukwu, who represented the Vice President at the event, emphasised that the views captured in the said report were not to be attributed to the Vice President.
The DG, VON, said, “My attention has been drawn to the media reports attributing my remarks yesterday at the Premium Times Healthcare Seminar to our dear Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON.
“While I stood in for the Vice President at the said event, I also did express my own views at the said seminar, including those regarding the Medical Tourism and the attendant concerns and challenges.
“These views as stated during the event are not to be attributed to Prof. Osinbajo.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I spoke in the context that President Muhammadu Buhari’s health plan will drastically minimize Nigerians expenditure on medical tourism.
“I cited for instance the loans meant for the establishment of health system projects and standard medical facilities in the $29.9 billion soft loan basket pending at the National Assembly.”
In the same vein, the Vice President, at different times, has consistently reiterated that the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, remained committed to improving public services in the area of basic education and primary healthcare, and the general livelihood of all Nigerians.
“As we restore and maintain security, we must not lose sight of the need to provide social service, food, education, healthcare, shelter as well as resettlement and livelihood support,” the Vice President said recently.
Prof. Osinbajo (SAN) has also assured that, despite challenging times, the government will make resources available to fund quality healthcare nationwide through the development of specialist hospitals.
He further noted that the Buhari administration is fully committed to improving healthcare in the country through its Social Investment Programmes and other initiatives aimed at enhancing the wellbeing and livelihood of all Nigerians.