Wpid Goodluck Jonathan
Jonathan Puts In Place Measures To Curb Capital Flight Of N78bn Yearly On Foreign Medical Treatment

President Goodluck Jonathan

In a bid to curb the capital flight of N78bn yearly on foreign medical treatment, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered more stringent approvals of medical trips for political office holders.

President Jonathan made this known through the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, during the burial of the father of the President of the Nigerian Medical Association, (NMA) Dr. Osahon Enabulele, and to inaugurate some projects at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, (UBTH), in Benin, Edo state.

Expressing concern over the increasing number of Nigerians detained in Indian hospitals and other countries on account of their inability to pay their medical bills, the minister said his office was being bombarded daily with letters of assistance.

?We have people who go abroad and they are in two classes: One, people who are spending private money, whether well-earned or not too well-earned. Some are people who are sponsored by other persons, including religious bodies, the others are the ones sponsored by government, whether at local, state or federal level. Recently we have done something which the President decided with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, at least at the federal level.

?At the federal level, what has been done in the last two weeks is that rather than the old system where the permanent secretary wrote to the Head of Service, now the Minster of Health must sign, but as a minister, if what you are going for can be done in Nigeria, we would not spend public money. But we must also recognise the individual rights of human beings, if you have your own money you are free to seek medical care anywhere. If it is clear that we cannot help you in Nigeria, it would be wicked of us not to allow you to go outside the country.

“So, that is what in the last weeks the President had directed and the head of service had written me, so, we are going to start implementing that now.”

The minister also said, ?There are so many reasons why Nigerians go abroad; one reason which is not my business is that we love things which are foreign. People who go outside the country don?t patronise government hospitals.”

He therefore urged Nigerians to take advantage of the National Health Insurance policy of the Federal Government for their health needs.


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