The Federal Government has said it would not provide funds to any government official to travel abroad for medical treatment unless the case cannot be handled in Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari made this known on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 56th Annual General Conference and delegates meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association held in Sokoto.
The President who was represented by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said the government would not encourage medical tourism with the nation’s resources.
“While this administration will not deny anyone of his or her fundamental human rights, we will certainly not encourage expending Nigerian hard earned resources on any government official seeking medical care abroad, when such can be handled in Nigeria,” Buhari said, according to a statement by the Director, Media and Public Relations, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Boade Akinola.
Buhari called on the health professionals to discontinue inter-professional crisis which he said had impacted negatively on the nation’s healthcare delivery system.
“We have seen the hazards that this unfortunate and highly preventable problems have caused to the quality of health care delivery in Nigeria. May I implore members of NMA to always imbibe the spirit of team work to ensure harmonious relationship with other health professionals, no profession can effectively and efficiently function without the other,” he said.
Speaking on the welfare of the health professionals, the President said the government will review all previous agreements and take reasonable decisions that would not infringe on the right of the workers.
“This government will invest in programmes that will improve capacity of all cadres of health workers,” he promised.
In his remarks, Adewole, represented by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said that the theme of the event “Doctors in Administrative Position in a democratic Dispensation” was important now that Nigerians are demanding for competence, professionalism and quality health care.
The minister said that leadership in the health sector was not only limited to occupying the chief executive position, but also involves accepting challenging responsibilities, promoting team works, tolerance and transparency in all dealings.
He admonished medical doctors to work in harmony with other health care professionals including those in administration to improve healthcare delivery system in the country.