The Senator representing Plateau North, Istifanus Gyang has described medical tourism as a conspiracy by the elite for the collapse of healthcare system in the country.
He also blamed leadership failure of “political elites” whom he said are supposed to provide effective healthcare delivery with good personnel for the citizenry, but have neglected doing so because they can afford private care abroad.
Gyang stated this when he visited the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) on a familiarization tour of all federal establishments/institutions located in his Senatorial District.
He said, “When leaders who are charged with the responsibility feel they have no need for public health systems because they can afford private health care at home or abroad, ordinary citizens bear the brunt.
“The effective health systems abroad that are being patronised by Nigerian leaders only exist because they were developed, and are consistently maintained, through political commitment and visionary leadership qualities that are clearly lacking today in Nigeria.”
The lawmaker decried how political leaders run abroad for medical tourism, assuring that the National Assembly will take practical steps to push for laws to curb the shameful practice in the country.
He lamented the present situation of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) that was saddled with the mandate of taking care of the North Central States, have been reduced to symbolic edifices due to political negligence.
According to him, “The reason for my visit is to see the areas that will add value to this foremost Hospital in Plateau State and also to legislate for additional funding to take care of facilities, equipment and develop the personnel of this health institution”.
“I am so concerned about the health sector in Nigeria that is why on the floor of the Senate when we were discussing about the primary healthcare and the collapse of healthcare delivery at that level which has now brought a lot of pressure not only to secondary but also tertiary level.”
He further maintained that because of the collapse of primary healthcare, the burden has shifted to JUTH and other tertiary health facilities in the country.
Gyang, who is the Deputy chairman Senate Committee on Defence, however commended former President Olusegun Obasanjo for building of the Jos University Teaching Hospital permanent site and also appreciated the former Plateau governor, Senator Jonah Jang for constructing the road that links the hospital to Jos, the state capital.