BBC Slams Buhari, Dos Santos, Mugabe For Going To Hospital Abroad

Nuhari with Presidency media team in London where he is undergoing medical treatment for the past months

LAGOS AUGUST 14TH (NEWSRANGERS)-British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC has lambasted Presidents of Nigeria, Angola, Zimbabwe, Benin, Algeria and other African countries for traveling abroad for medical treatment.
The medium which suspect that their action is an apparent lack of faith in the health systems at their home countries said, “In terms of time spent abroad getting medical help, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, 74, is the first among equals, but in the past year all these heads of state have travelled overseas for health reasons.
“In many cases they are leaving behind poorly funded health services, which most of their citizens have to rely on. In 2010, the average amount spent on health in African countries per person was $135 (£100) compared to $3,150 in high-income countries, the UN’s World Health Organization said.
“In Zimbabwe, for example, state-run hospitals and clinics often run out of basic medicines like painkillers and antibiotics, according to health watchdog Citizens Health Watch. It says that the public health care system “continues to deteriorate at alarming levels” with lack of money being the main problem.”
As for Nigeria, BBC Abuja editor Naziru Mikailu. pointed out that the public health system is “terrible” because of poor funding.
He said, a health insurance scheme for government workers and some private employees has given some people access to private medicine, but most people have to rely on government-funded services,adding that in both countries, good private healthcare is available to those with money but in some cases there is a feeling that things are better abroad.
The report explained that Nigerian president has spent more than four months in London this year getting treatment for an undisclosed illness, causing considerable disquiet at home.
“Unlike one of his predecessors, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who went to Saudi Arabia to see a doctor, Mr Buhari did leave his deputy in charge, but this has not dampened the criticism,” the report disclosed.
Continuing, the report explained that Buhari’s unhealthy start to 2017 as follows, “19 January: Leaves for UK on “medical vacation”, 5 February: Asks parliament to extend medical leave, 10 March: Returns home but does not resume work immediately, 7 May: Travels to UK for further treatment, 6 June: Aisha Buhari says his is “recuperating fast”.
“The issue with these trips abroad is not only the implied criticism of the medics at home, but that they also serve to undermine the health system, leading Nigerian doctor Osahon Enabulele argues.
“He calls the phenomenon “medical tourism” and says that the example set by political leaders costs countries millions of dollars. In 2013 he estimated that Nigerians were spending $1bn (£770m) abroad on medical treatment and reckons that figure could have doubled by now. By comparison, the federal government’s health budget for 2016 came to $800m. Dr Enabulele, who is vice-president of the Commonwealth Medical Association, says that the money taken out of Nigeria could be invested in the health system at home. The whole ambition to have state-of-the-art facilities will remain a mirage if people keep going abroad for medical reasons.
“On top of that, he says, top Nigerian doctors are then enticed abroad looking for the best conditions, exacerbating the situation.
“Dr Enabulele adds that while he wishes the president well, he thinks that the treatment he needs could be found at home. Looking at the big picture, underfunding of health does seem to be a problem. Also, political leaders may not have the incentive to improve health services if they themselves can afford to go elsewhere,” the BBC report stated.

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