Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari is facing heightened criticism for breaking his promise to end “medical tourism” in his tenure. Buhari, who is currently seeking medical treatment for an ear infection in London was heavily criticized by the vice-president of Nigeria’s Commonwealth Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, who described the move as a “national shame.”
The bout of criticism follows Enabulele’s claim as reported by the BBC that the Nigerian middle-class spent nearly a billion dollars medical trips in 2013 alone. This level of spending raises questions about low confidence in Nigeria’s health care delivery.
In what has been seen as fierce opposition from the Commonwealth Medical Association, Enabulele called it a mockery for the Nigerian president to bypass all 250 ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists, as well as the National Ear Center of the Federal State, for the United Kingdom.
“Mr Buhari should lead by example by using Nigerian doctors and facilities, and ensure government officials do not go abroad on ‘frivolous’ medical trips,” he fumed.
At the end of April, in a speech at the 56th Annual General Conference and Delegate meeting of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Sokoto, President Buhari assured that his administration would stand against spending fiscal resources “on any government official seeking medical care abroad, especially when there is evidence of expertise in Nigeria.”
Per recent the turn of events, however, the Nigerian leader seems to be acting against his own promise.