The Senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, has blamed the failure of political leaders to provide basic health infrastructures across the country for the rising spate of medical tourism among Nigerians.
He made this known when he addressed journalists on the sideline of a fund raising event tagged ‘Nigerians4Nigeria’ organized by Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC) in Abuja.
According to him, it is a shame that Nigeria, with an estimated population of 200 million, had no cardio-thoracic centre that handles heart emergencies.
The Senator however affirmed the federal government’s commitment to addressing the situation which he described as pathetic and pitiable.
He said: “Nigerians embark on medical tourism and vacations; because there is an outrageously calamitous situation in the health sector in this country. We have a system that is not working.
“Were our health facilities in this country in wonderful shape, we would not need to fly anybody overseas for medical treatment.
“Nigeria with a population of about 200 million people does not have one single cardio-thoracic centre. Today, if there is a heart emergency, the survival rate is zero.
“Ghana has a population of 18 million people yet it is about completing its second national cardio-thoracic centre.
“The most pathetic aspect of it is that we have 34 Nigerian cardiologists currently working in Ghana National cardio-thoracic centre. It is a sorry state.
“I am not in the executive arm of government. I am a legislator but I want to categorically say that the health system in this country is in a very pitiable situation and it didn’t start yesterday and it cannot be solved within four years.
“I tell all the political leaders in this country, myself inclusive, that we have failed in our responsibility of providing basic health infrastructures for the citizens of this country.
“I hope by this democratic evangelism, political leaders in this country will sit-up and fix what needs to be fixed in the health sector.
“But I want to assure you that the APC government is doing all they can within their powers to correct the situation.
“We should give the improvement of health facilities in this country the same drive we are giving the fight against corruption.