Minister of health refuses to answer question on Buhari’s medical tourism
There was a mild drama in Asaba, yesterday, when the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, frowned and bluntly refused to answer a question posed by a reporter as regards whether President Muhammadu Buhari’s sojourn in the United Kingdom was not a form of medical tourism.
Ehanire, who had just finished inspecting the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, urged Nigerians to shun travelling abroad for medical tourism, and should rather stay in the country and take advantage of the improved health services at the nation’s medical centres.
Ehanire lamented that it is not right, as unpatriotic Nigerians, who travel abroad in droves to seek medical attention for their ailments, spend so much money in hard currency.
He said: “We need to provide money for our hospitals to upgrade their facilities to discourage people from travelling abroad for medical tourism. We believe if we can offer more services, people will be less inclined to travel abroad for medical treatment.”
Then the bombshell, as a journalist said: “But sir, talking about medical tourism, the President has been away in the United Kingdom for medical treatment for over a month.
That is medical tourism. Don’t you think this is hypocrisy? People should practise what they preach. Charity, they say, begins at home.”Caught off-guard by the question, Ehanire frowned and turned to the next journalist, who was eager to ask another question, in a move, which echoes United States’ President Donald Trump war with the press.
Minister: “Next! Your question please!” he said, pointing to another reporter on the sidelines.