The minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, says President Muhammadu Buhari could not be treated in Nigeria because of the long existing bond between him and his foreign doctors.
He, however, assured Nigerians and the international community that there was no cause for concern over Buhari’s health.
“One thing we must realise is that health is a complex issue. There’s what we call patient-doctor relationship; there is also a bond between the patient and the doctor and these are things we can’t play with,” Adewole, a professor, told Thisday.
“I used to have patients in Ibadan and they still call me, and say ‘we will like to see you’. Then I have to say no to them because I’m no longer available and ask, ‘why can’t you see somebody else?’ But many of them are reluctant to do so. That’s the complex thing about health.
“We should give him (Buhari) that choice. What we really wish is for Mr. President to be well and hearty.
“However, this is also a complex country, so I am not too happy about some of the insinuations, because we should pray for our leaders. We should continue to pray for him. There is no cause for alarm,
“He (Buhari) came back (referring to the previous medical vacation) and told us that he was ill and that he was treated. When we have that type of leader, I think we can go to sleep”, he stated.
The minister also spoke on efforts of the ministry to make healthcare accessible to Nigerians.
“The first thing we have done is to approve the policy, that’s the third Health Policy in the history of Nigeria. So this government can take credit for putting a policy in place, that’s number one.
“We also launched a programme called the ‘Save One Million Lives Initiative’, where we took money from the World Bank and gave it to the states as seed grants to develop programmes that will impact on the lives of women and children because we want many of our indicators – maternal and child health indicators – to change.
“We further initiated a programme called the ‘Rapid Response Results Initiative’, distinctively factored for the poor. We started with 10,000 surgeries for the poor and I am happy to say that all over the country, we are offering care to poor Nigerians.
“We have started primary health care revitalisation, as part of the RRRI. Very soon, we are moving on to really injecting life into our tertiary centres. We have identified three reasons why people go out of the country and die: cancer, renal and cardiac diseases,” he added.