Fashola – Flying Presidents Abroad for Medical Care Diminishes Our Image (allAfrica.com)

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday lamented the huge amount of hard currencies Nigeria spent on medical care abroad, noting that flying the country’s president abroad “diminishes our image.”
The governor also lamented that the federal government had been inconsistent in policy implementation, pointing out that it had moved from NEEDS to Vision 2020, seven -point agenda and now transformation agenda.
He expressed these concerns while inaugurating the state’s first Cardiac and Renal Centre, Gbagada, saying the federal government could have developed health sector with petrodollars being frittered away.
He said the federal government could have built one with all the petro dollars, though noted that it “is not the way of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The federal government does not understand that it diminishes our image every time the head of government travels abroad for medical care.
“The turning point was when we exported President Yar’Adua to a Saudi Arabia hospital to manage a kidney ailment. But I must not be mistaken for suggesting that we can have all specialties locally… ”
In most other countries, the governor argued that the best hospitals “are the military hospitals where the presidents get treatment. Nigerian military hospitals used to be like that. What is the ailment that a Nigerian President goes to treat abroad that a Nigerian hospital built by him cannot handle?
“This hospital was started in 2008 and completed in 2013. That is five years, compared to the 16 (Sixteen) years of the PDP presidency. This failure cannot be attributed to the opposition. These were the problems we set out to overcome. We have defeated the problems. We have struck a decisive blow at them.
“We could not build without solving the drainage problem, which took over a year. This area is flood free and you can ask the residents of Medina, Gbagada, and Deeper Life what their new experiences are.
“We also revived the street lights poles on the federal government owned Gbagada Expressway which the PDP campaign team now adorns with the president’s posters asking for your votes, but they have not paid N51 billion we spent on other federal roads in Lagos,” the governor explained.
Fashola acknowledged that the country was already in the era of change, pointing that N51 billion “is chicken change compared to what they have spent on television and radio campaign propaganda.”
However, the governor said the cardiac and renal centre “has 24 dialysis bed stations, 20 beds for recovery and general ward use, two high dependency wards with five beds each, making a total of 10 beds, for patients who have come out of intensive care, five beds for patients in intensive care, four post-surgery beds for patients who just finished surgery, two post cathlab beds and two surgical theaters built to the most contemporary standard to cater for people who are critically ill.”
He, also, noted that there “are lecture rooms for students, but one of the fascinating facilities is the surgical theatre where kidneys and hearts can be removed and transplanted. There are cameras fitted into the surgical scumps which project images and voices of what is happening in the theatre to the students lecture rooms on the ground floor.”