Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment against oversea’s medical treatment by Nigerians as self-indicting and raises public apprehensions on high-level deceits of Buhari’s government.
PDP, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that it was ridiculous that a President who patronises foreign hospitals and whose administration has failed to provide adequate healthcare in his country would turn around to pontificate against foreign medical treatments.
The statement said: “While the PDP do not approve of proliferated foreign medical tourism, especially by leaders and public office holders, the party holds that a leader who has failed to lead by example and whose government has neglected and wrecked the healthcare systems, lacks all rectitude to issue directives against foreign treatment.”
Consequently, the PDP urged President Buhari to show example by patronizing a Nigerian public hospital on his next medical appointment so that he can experience the healthcare reality that Nigerians have been subjected to under his government.
According to PDP, “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 APC administration.”
PDP further alleged: “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 Presidency, which has not been able to account for the looting of billions of naira saved for healthcare needs of Nigerians.”
In addition, the dreaded Ebola outbreak was managed without grave consequences under the PDP administration, adding that “if such 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.”
PDP also accused the APC administration of neglecting the national health need of Nigerians. “Even in the 2020 budget, only N427.3 billion (4.5 per cent of the budget) is provided for the health need of over 186 million Nigerians. Indeed, this is not the way to go,” PDP said.
The party, therefore, charged President Buhari to end his rhetoric by taking concrete steps to improve on the nation’s healthcare system so that Nigerians could have access to adequate and affordable healthcare at all levels.