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Commonwealth Doctors Vice Chair Slams Buhari Over Medical Trips



​VICE President Commonwealth Medical Association and a former National President Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr Osahon Enabulele, has expressed reservation over the medical trips embarked upon abroad by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Enabulele in a statement in Benin City, Edo State, on Wednesday, said that President Buahri has missed the opportunity of putting his change mantra to the test by staying back at home to be treated by Nigerian doctors.

He said: “Even though the nature of the persistent ear infection/specific diagnosis was not stated in the Special Adviser’s press release, I wish to commend Mr. President for the medical disclosure (a departure from the past) and sincerely sympathize with him, especially at this critical stage of our country’s history and development, and wish him quick recovery.”

He said flying the president abroad contradicts the Federal Government’s earlier declaration of her resolve to halt the embarrassing phenomenon of outward medical tourism, which as at the end of the year 2013 had led to a humongous capital flight of about $1billion, particularly from expenses incurred by political and public office holders (and their accompanying aides), whose foreign medical trips (most of which are unnecessary) were financed with tax payers’ resources.

“Undoubtedly, this latest move by Mr. President at a time the Federal Government is said to be on a change mission and rebirth of national consciousness and commitment through a backward integration agenda, Mr. President has lost a golden opportunity to assert his change mantra through a clear demonstration of leadership by example, by staying back to receive medical treatment in Nigeria.

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“And thereby inspiring confidence in Nigeria’s health sector which currently boasts of medical experts that favorably compare with medical experts anywhere in the world, if not even better.

“It is on record that most public and political office holders who seek foreign medical care abroad are handled by Nigerian trained doctors in foreign lands, particularly in the United Kingdom which has over 3000 Nigerian trained medical doctors, United States of America with over 5000 Nigerian trained medical doctors, amongst other foreign countries.”

He noted that most of the Nigerian doctors left the shores of the country on account of government’s perennial failure to address the various push and pull factors which have consistently driven this yearly brain drain phenomenon in Nigeria.

He stated that available records showed that last year (2015) alone, 637 medical doctors emigrated due largely to poor working conditions and health facilities, insecurity, unpredictable and poor funding of Residency Training Programme, uncompetitive wages and job dissatisfaction.

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