Labour minister Chris Ngige has said Nigerians do not need to travel abroad for health care as medical treatment in Nigerian hospital is “fairly Okay.” Meanwhile his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari is presently ensconced in London for medical care.
Since Mr Buhari assumed office in the past six years, he has spent close to 200 days away from Nigeria on medical tourism.
Mr Ngige’s statement comes also at a time the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are observing an indefinite nationwide strike.
Speaking on Channels TV on Friday, Mr Ngige said the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari has invested huge resources in Nigerian health sector and citizens do not need to travel abroad for healthcare, except for those who can afford it.
“What are you going abroad to do, the expertise is here (in Nigeria),” Mr Ngige said. “Plenty of billions has gone into health.”
“For me, if you have the means and you want to do a second opinion abroad, why not? It is permitted.
“On an average note, medical treatment here is fairly okay as far as I am concerned,” he added.
Mr Ngige, a medical doctor, further emphasised his confidence in Nigeria health system saying, “I use the National Hospital (in Abuja), my card is there; I use the State House clinic for my eyes; I use another private hospital here.”
Before now, however, first lady Aisha Buhari had said the State House Clinic lacks basic drugs to treat patients.
Also, spokesperson person to the President, Femi Adesina, said the State House Clinic has been downgraded, adding that Mr Buhari travels abroad for medical care because he trusts only his London-based doctors of many years who have his medical history and records.