– The vice president of the Commonwealth Medical
Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele has condemned
President Buhari’s medical trip to London
– He said it was tragic blot on Nigeria’s collective
professional and National image
– According to him, the president failed to show
leadership by example by not staying back to receive
medical treatment in Nigeria
– He said receiving treatment in Nigeria would inspire
confidence in the health sector
Dr. Enabulele Osahon, the vice president of Commonwealth
Medical Association has expressed disappointment over
President Muhammadu Buhari’s medical trip to London for
an Ear, Nose and Throat (E.N.T) infection.
He said it was a national shame of immense proportions
that the president had to be recommended for foreign
medical care despite the presence of over 250 ENT
specialists and professors in Nigeria, as well as a National
Ear Centre located in Kaduna state, Vanguard reports.
Buhari departs Nigeria for London on a 10-day vacation
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He said: “I am very constrained to state that this foreign
medical trip flies in the face of the federal government’s
earlier declaration of her resolve to halt the embarrassing
phenomenon of outward medical tourism, which as at the
end of the year 2013 had led to a humongous capital flight
of about $1billion dollars, particularly from expenses
incurred by political and public office holders and their
accompanying aides, whose foreign medical trips most of
which are unnecessary, were financed with tax payers’
Osahon noted that most of the public and political office
holders who seek foreign medical care abroad are handled
by Nigerian trained doctors in foreign lands particularly in
the United Kingdom which has over 3000 Nigerian trained
medical doctors, United States of America with over 5000
Nigerian trained medical doctors, amongst other foreign
He said most of the doctors emigrated because of
government’s perennial failure to address certain issues
such as poor working conditions and health facilities,
insecurity, unpredictable and poor funding of Residency
Training Programme, uncompetitive wages and job
According to him, Buhari has lost a golden opportunity to
assert his change mantra by not leading by example and
staying back to receive medical treatment in Nigeria.
Osahin said receiving treatment in Nigeria would inspire
confidence in the health sector which currently boasts of
medical experts that can favourably compare with medical
experts anywhere in the world.
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The former NMA president urged Buhari to lead by
example at curbing medical tourism and saving Nigerians
the great loss incurred through numerous trips abroad for
“Mr. President should make a clear public pronouncement
on his resolve to show leadership by example with respect
to the utilization of the medical expertise and facilities that
abound in Nigeria by him and other members of the
Federal Executive Council, particularly in concrete
expression of section 46 of the National Health Act which
seeks to address the abuse of tax payers’ resources through
frivolous foreign medical travels embarked upon by
political and public office holders ,” he said.
Osahon said Buhari should have invited a consortium of
Nigerian trained ENT specialists in Nigeria to Abuja to re-
evaluate and treat him or he should have identified any
Nigerian trained ENT specialist practicing anywhere in the
world if he feels the medical expertise is not available in
“If it is a case where the health facilities/equipment are
unavailable then the President should have used his
current medical situation, though unfortunate, to
commence the Federal Government’s plan to re-equip
Nigerian hospitals with modern state-of-the art health
facilities, by ordering for the needed medical equipment to
enable the locally available Nigerian trained ENT specialists
to attend to him, and thereafter use same facilities to
attend to other Nigerians with similar conditions.
“Indeed, it will be a win-win situation for Nigeria as Mr.
President will not only get managed with the imported
medical facilities and expertise; he would save Nigeria the
capital flight that would result from his planned foreign
medical trip ,” he noted.
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For days, there has been speculation surrounding the state
of health of President Buhari, saying he is suffering from
ear infection hut the presidency kept denying this.
However, on Sunday, June 5, the presidency confirmed that
president had a ‘persistent ear infection’ and would be
leaving for London on a 10-day vacation where he will see
an E.N.T. specialist for the infection.
On different occasions, the president cancelled official trips
within and outside the country due to the infection and was
represented at those events by Yemi Osinbajo, the vice
Last weekend, Osinbajo represented him in Papua New
Guinea where the 8th Summit of the African, Caribbean and
Pacific Group of States held. He also represented the
president at the 48th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State
and Government of the Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS) which held in Dakar, Senegal.
Last week, the president also cancelled his trip to Ogoni
land in Rivers state and directed Osinbajo to represent him.
Prior to this, the president unable to travel to Lagos state to
inaugurate some projects executed by Governor Akinwunmi
Ambode despite elaborate preparations to receive him.