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Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to provide adequate medical infrastructure for the country’s health care institutions to check the rising incidence of medical tourism.
Babangida made the call when the executives of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), led by its National President, Dr Osahon Enabulele, paid him a courtesy call in Minna.
He said that the improvement of the medical infrastructure of the country’s health care institutions would also check “the exodus of our medical practitioners abroad’’.
Babangida stressed that the improved infrastructure would encourage an estimated 30,000 Nigerian doctors, working in overseas countries, to return home.
“The only way is for government to provide adequate medical infrastructure at our various levels of healthcare delivery,” he said.
“Our doctors are some of the best brains in the world and they are also true patriots who are doing their best out of nothing.
“But there is nothing the doctors can do without adequate facilities; it is not their responsibility but that of the government to provide the much-needed facilities.
“Sincerely, if we are to address all the lapses in the health sector, government should do more by providing good infrastructure for the sector.
“This will surely help to drastically reduce the exodus of doctors and discourage people from seeking medical attention outside the shores of the country,’’ he said.
Earlier, Enabulele, who spoke through NMA’s First National Vice-President, Dr Bukar Garma, said that members of the association’s National Executive Committee were in Minna for their week-long annual meeting.
He said that the activities lined up for the week included the provision of free medical services to rural people, as part of the association’s social responsibility to the society.
Enabulele said that such services had been rendered in Lagos, Nassarawa and Sokoto States.
He said that in Niger, the association was reaching out to the residents of Kuta, Zungeru and Kateregi towns.