Ex-NMA President wants President-elect to tackle medical tourism

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BENIN – A former of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr Osahon Enabulele, has advised -elect, Maj.-Gen. Buhari, tackle medical tourism so as reduce capital flight in the country.

Osahon gave this advice when he was speaking on his expectations from -elect during an interview the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Thursday.

Osahon, who is the Vice of Commonwealth Medical Association, said medical tourism was one of the most fundamental issues in the health sector where -elect must show leadership by example.

“The -elect should show leadership in the area of medical tourism, where all , top public holders jump on the next available plane go Europe, America and places for the simplest of medical conditions.

“I think one of the leadership by example in terms of moral leadership that the president-elect must show is by restricting these travels by and public office holders who have undermined the integrity and image of our healthcare sector.

“So that all those capital flight can be reinvested in the country’s health sector and made a place for nationals seek medical care.

“So he must do that as a first point, to ensure that there is some accountability in terms of the leadership at all levels at those at local, state and federal government levels.

“The president-elect should show leadership in terms of passion and medical care in local health facilities,” he said.

He said that the president-elect should also build on the existing structures put in place by President Jonathan to address challenges in the health sector.

“The current government of Jonathan in his own way of addressing some of the problems in the health sector has set up several committees.

“So perhaps, if he is unable to implement the conclusion of those committees, I want to call on the president-elect to see how he can take off from there and give some level of bite and expression to some of those resolutions”.

Besides, he urged the president-elect to upbeat the welfare of health professionals in the country to curb brain drain in the sector.

“The issue of brain drain is still on even at a more alarming rate, so the president-elect must see how he can equalise the status of professionals in Nigeria to professionals outside the country.

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“There is no reason why we cannot have some level of equipoise in terms of our status as health professionals and what exist outside the country because that is the only thing that largely, the whole issue of brain drain phenomenon that is common in the health sector,” he said.

He also called on Buhari to consider the implementing the Health Act and increase budgetary allocation to the sector. (NAN)

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