Expert urges FG to ban politicians on medical tourism

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Expert urges FG to ban politicians on medical tourism

A US-based Nigerian medical doctor, Dr Tomi Ademokun, has urged the Federal Government to pass a law to prevent political office holders and their families from accessing health care abroad.

Ademokun, a Public Health Advisor at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made the call in an interview with the newsmen in New York.

She also called on the government to pass a law to prevent political officeholders from sending their children to schools abroad.

“If you hold a leadership position, you cannot access external services, build it in your state and use it. Change begins with you,” she said.

The medical expert is of the opinion that such measures will make the leaders fix the health and education sectors in Nigeria rather than going abroad to access those services.

“It saddens me to learn that when any top politician is sick they go abroad for treatment, how come we are not building our health sector?

Ademokun told reporters that Nigerians in the U.S., especially in the medical sector had been doing wonderfully well, “All my doctors here are Nigerians; my daughter’s paediatrician, my general practitioner, even my specialists are all Nigerians.

“Nigerian physicians and public health workers are doing well even back at home, what is lacking is support and enabling environment.

Ademokun, who is the Vice President of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA), South Savannah, Georgia, recalled how white doctors were going to train in Nigeria under exchange programmes in the 80s.

She advised that those exchange programmes should be revived and that those in the diaspora should be empowered to come home and support their colleagues.

Ademokun, however, urged Nigerians in the diaspora to use the opportunity of their dual citizenship to contribute to the growth and development of their homeland.

“I was born here but I always have the heart to go home. I can’t go back to relying on the Nigerian government, they have not created that environment; then I use my American citizenship to go back as a U.S. diplomat.

Ademokun emphasised that those Nigerians that God had blessed with dual citizenship should use the strong one to help build their homeland.

“I am the first American-Nigerian diplomat and the youngest to be appointed by the U.S. government to work in Nigeria.

Also, she canvassed for an effective health insurance system and welfare system that would help those that are not wealthy to access free health care.

On diaspora voting, Ademokun urged the Nigerian government to consider the voting rights of its citizens abroad, lamenting that only 29 senators voted in favour of the Diaspora Bill.

“We contribute over 30 billion dollars, we are major partners, and we need to take our power back when it comes to voting.

Expert urges FG to ban politicians on medical tourism