Saturday, 26 August 2017

Medical doctors associations to Buhari: Use Aso Rock Clinic henceforth

The Commonwealth Medical Association and the Nigerian Medic
al Association have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to, henceforth, use the State House Medical Centre, also known as Aso Rock Clinic.

While the CMA said the President should lead by example and desist from travelling abroad for medical treatment, the NMA said it was not opposed to him travelling to get a second opinion on his health.

The NMA, however, joined the CMA to urge the President to upgrade the Aso Rock Clinic and all public health institutions across the country to the level of the hospital that he used in London. They said upgrading the clinic and the President’s subsequent patronage of the centre would be the only way to justify the billions of naira budgeted annually for the running of the clinic.

The Vice-President, Commonwealth Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, while speaking on the President’s recent medical vacation to the United Kingdom, where he spent 104 days, told Saturday PUNCH that it was highly embarrassing for political office holders in the country to seek medical care abroad.

Enabulele, said,
“The country needs to think of how to reverse this unfortunate trend. Nigeria is in a recession and this is not the time for us to drain our economy by political office holders, whose expenses are borne by the state. I hope and pray that we will have the right leadership that will act by example to sort this out because that is the first step.
“This would give greater confidence to other Nigerians to explore the available medical services in the country. Leaders at all levels need to look beyond their individualism to say, ‘If I want people to utilise health care services in my country, I have to show that I believe in those facilities by utilising them’.

“So, I will urge all political holders, including Mr. President, to try to live by example. The President should try as much as possible, irrespective of what may be the problem, to see how he can stay in the country and see how he can get his medical needs attended to at the State House Clinic, even if it means importing facilities that are not available here.
“In any case, if N3.16bn was budgeted for the State House Clinic in 2016 and 2017, I will expect that the money is supposed to improve the clinic to a global standard that will have most of all the needed facilities and equipment. There is no reason whatsoever to say you are looking somewhere else for medical care. It is increasingly embarrassing to see public office holders go outside the shores of Nigeria to look for care.”

Meanwhile, the President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Mike Ogirima, said if the Aso Rock Clinic was well equipped, the President would not have been travelling outside the country to receive medical care, given that the country had the expertise to treat his ailment.

He said,
“We are appealing to the President to replicate whatever experience he had in London here at home. He should equip our hospitals. We can’t keep funding the Aso Villa Clinic if it’s not being used. That clinic should be equipped so as to cater for the President’s medical need.

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