There has been so much noise about President Muhammadu Buhari’s 10-day visit to the United Kingdom during which he would also embark on a routine medical check.
Of course nobody prays to fall sick and if it were in people’s powers to make a choice, everyone will probably choose to stay healthy.
Nigerians have lambasted Buhari for choosing to embark on a foreign trip for his medical checks rather than patronize a good hospital in Nigeria.
Now, get it right, it is not wrong to embark on a medical trip especially when the ailment involved is life-threatening and need the expertise of well-trained doctors.
But Buhari is facing the lashes because he has embarked on countless foreign trips barely two years into assuming office as the president of the country and Nigerians are beginning to get more worried by the day.
Now, these many foreign trips spell doom for Nigeria and her already battered economy which needs any possible feasible plan to be resuscitated instead of the constaant ‘waste of money’ on vacations.
As at the end of 2013, foreign medical trips by public officials have gulped as much as $1billion capital flight.
This obviously would mess up the economic situation of the country further rather than salvage it.
These trips are funded by the taxpayers’ money and one can only imagine what would have happened if the government saved such whooping sum and invested it in developing the medical facilities across the country.
Even though it will take time, with good planning and strategic execution, the dividends will be palatable in the end.
Buhari’s medical trip has squandered an opportunity to promote reforms that he himself has always canvassed for.
Despite being vanguards of patronizing local products and industries, most Nigerian politicians are guilty of running out of the country at even a slight headache.
There has been so much criticisms about this trend but it appears the argument is just like pouring water on the rocks.
Nigeria will not experience any palpable reformation in most of the sectors if the public officers who should champion the cause have the seeking help abroad mentality.
Humans are often characterized by selfishness and once they are getting their needs met, they may not care to look homewards and develop sectors.
The irony of the situation is that most times, people who treat these public officers are Nigerians locally trained professionals who have emigrated because of the poor state of the health system, insecurity, poor working conditions, unpredictable and poor funding, uncompetitive wages and job dissatisfaction.
Most of these trained medical specialists actually know their onions but only need the right facilities to showcase their skills in Nigeria, but unfortunately, they hardly get them, hence the growing quest to step out of the shores of Nigeria to explore.
In the UK there are more than 3,000 Nigerian-trained medical doctors while the US have more than 5,000.
If the trend continues unabated, then that spells an apparent doom for the country.
Besides, other countries may not take Nigerians seriously anymore because serious-minded governments would be more about developing their own facilities than running out of their countries to get help each time.
Ever wondered how many foreigners actually leave their countries and come down to Nigeria to seek medical help?
Why would the government not channel some of the funds into health reforms and provide the necessary equipment for qualified medical personnel to develop our health sector?
Is the Nigerian government not supposed to care more about fixing the already battered image and seeking a way out?
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