by Rachel Ogbu
The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu recently announced plans to stop Nigerians from travelling abroad for medical treatment which could be treated well in public and private health facilities in the country.
On Monday January 21, Chukwu in Asaba, the Delta State explained that it was becoming increasingly discomfiting for the government that Nigerians unnecessarily rush abroad to treat minor ailments which our health institutions were more than capable of handling.
During the opening ceremony of the first Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Health Summit, Chukwu said the Federal Ministry of Health also directed that on no account should cases which could be handled by some of our private health facilities be referred from government teaching hospitals to private hospitals overseas.
Critics are already defining this as another government time wasting scheme as how do they intend to know an ordinary citizen is travelling for medical treatment and is it not a matter of choice. Perhaps it should be restricted to public figures and politicians.
How about Nigerians who have a foreign passport, would they be affected by the ban? Which agency would be responsible for the war against foreign medical check-ups?
These are questions that beg to be answered.