Health tourism

Last month was a news report of how OAU Ile Ife teaching hospital medical staff are working really hard to change the views that many people have of our local hospitals saying they had successful 14 open heart surgeries in 2016. Bottom line was that people are encouraged to stop health tourism – stay in the country to be treated by qualified doctors as opposed to going to India, Germany or in the case of our President Buhari, London, UK.

This is a local hospital to me when I was at home so it was nice to read of improvement, however, when I read this news I thought it was a waste of time talking to Nigerian public, most people can’t afford hospital bill at home let alone overseas bill.

Everyday people that can afford to foot their bill will think twice before staying at home for so many reasons – medical practitioner to be held accountable if things go wrong is just one.

I thought the message of the Chief Medical Director Prof Victor Adetiloye advocating for people could go a lot further if he targets people whose medical bills  are paid for with taxpayers money i.e politicians.

If there is a contractual clause that says politicians must receive their health treatment in the country or responsible for paying their own bill if treated abroad, we would have been one step forward.

Now with President Buhari and his hide and seek game and his medical status. A friend called today to ask where Buhari was as if I have a monitor strapped on the old man’s ankle, I am as baffled as everyone else when I read last week that the president is coming to London for a break and a medical check up.

Last year June, President was in London for an ear infection treatment – we yelled and reminded the president one of the many wasteful ways he promised not to undertake.

So this time again, President Buhari is here for yet another medical treatment, nature of illness undisclosed leaving Nigerians guessing the worse and a quick reminder of Yar Adua who passed away in office after months of deceiving Nigerians.

While being a president is arguably the most important job in a nation, I strongly believe a president seeking for health treatment outside is a failure on many levels. Just last year, ₦3.8B naira is said to be spent on Aso Rock clinic alone and yet the hospital is not good enough?

And most importantly if a president can not trust anyone within his own country with his health treatment, then we have a bigger problem.

To put how wasteful this trip is into perspective, a few years ago a friend’s told me that his inlaw who was visiting the UK was giving £5,500 bill after the birth of her child. This is a normal delivery with no complications.

Now imagine how much is being wasted on presidential kind of health treatment?

It is the same story with education sector, our country will never progress if we fail to invest money at home, it is obvious this lots don’t care.

Our politicians, especially all of the ones we’ve recycled for the last 4 decades are not serious and incapable of change.

It is up to us to now realise e no go better until we make them.