Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday described President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment on overseas treatment as self-indicting and high-level deceits in governance.
The party, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described as ridiculous “a situation where a President, who patronizes foreign hospitals for treatment and 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.”
The PDP said while it does not approve of proliferated foreign medical tourism, especially by leaders and 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.”
The statement read: “The PDP urges President Buhari to show an example by patronizing 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.
“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 All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
“Nigerians recall that under the PDP administration, new technologies and modern medical equipment were available in most federal medical institutions where cases such as cancer, kidney, heart and brain ailments for which Nigerians are now mostly seeking overseas treatment were effectively handled in our country.
“Our health care would have continued to flourish but for the disruption of PDP’s people-based healthcare programs by the Buhari-led APC administration.
“The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has now become the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) of the corrupt cabal in the Buhari Presidency, which has not been able to account for the looting of billions of naira saved for healthcare needs of Nigerians.
“Under the PDP administration, the dreaded Ebola outbreak was managed without grave consequences. If such a medical emergency, God forbid, breaks out today, it would be devastating to our nation given the poor handling of our healthcare system by the APC administration.
“The APC administration’s neglect for our national health need is reflected in successive budgetary allocations under President Buhari.
“Even in the 2020 budget, only N427.3bn (4.5 percent of the budget) is provided for the health need of over 186 million Nigerians. Indeed, this is not the way to go.
“The PDP, therefore, charges President Buhari to end his 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.”