The Alliance for the Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s medical trip to the UK as a violation of the National Health Act.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Chairman of the group and human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), ASCAB added that Buhari’s constant visits to the UK for health check depicts the terrible state of Nigerian medicare.
The labour and civil society coalition group said it was contradictory for the President to go abroad for medicare when as billions of naira were allocated to the health sector every year apart from the huge amount of money credited to the Presidential Clinic in Aso Rock.
“The President of Nigeria visiting the United Kingdom, for healthcare 60 years after independence is a shame. It confirms that Nigeria cannot guarantee the health of her President even with the country can boast of a rainbow of experts and Teaching Hospitals that have been left to rot away,” Falana explained.
The group wondered what could happen to the ordinary people if the country could not secure the well-being of her President.
ASCAB said President Buhari’s action violated the constitution of the country.
The group regretted that millions of Nigerians have no access to basic healthcare while primary health provision has almost been abandoned across the country leaving millions in despair.
ASCAB traced the tragic weekend deaths of two prominent human rights activists, Mr. Yinka Odumakin and Innocent Chukwuma to the parlous state of Nigerian healthcare, saying that the two, like millions of Nigerian in rural and urban areas would have lived if the country’s leaders had funded and equipped hospitals for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
“The total neglect of public healthcare in Nigerian has seen millions of people lose their lives from preventable deaths. While many people die in millions every year, armed and defenseless people, rich and poor suffer from the tragic neglect of Nigerian health sector by the Federal and State Governments.”
The latest known victims are Yinka and Innocent, two people that were reputed for immense sacrifices in the pro-democracy campaigns but have to die due to Governments poor funding of the health sector and corruption at all levels,” ASCAB said.
ASCAB said Buhari had consistently breached the law as his medical treatment and check up in the United Kingdom were not recommended by a Medical Board approved by the Minister of Health in line with Section 46 of the National Health Act.
He quoted the section as stating that: “Without prejudice to the right of any Nigerian to seek medical check-up, investigation or treatment anywhere within and outside Nigeria no public officer of the government of the Federation or any part thereof shall be sponsored for medical check-up, investigation or treatment abroad at public expense except in exceptional cases on the recommendation and referral by the medical board and which recommendation or referral shall be duly approved by the Minister or the Commissioner of health of the state as the case may be.”