THE Association of Community Newspaper Publishers of Nigeria (ACNPN), has urged the federal authorities to ban public office holders from travelling abroad to seek medical comfort at government expense.
According to the association, once this is done, a radical turnaround would occur in the health sector, which it maintained has been grossly under-funded, under-staffed, mismanaged and under-equipped.
Chairman of the association in Edo State, Deacon Ralph Okhiria, made the call at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), when he led his executive committee members on a courtesy call on its Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Michael Ibadin.
He said: “Our hospitals are neglected and under funded because those, who are in position to transform them take delight in travelling abroad to attend to their health needs; hence, their reluctance to give the desired attention to our public health institutions.
“If public officers are prevented from going abroad for medical treatment, our hospitals will not only be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to meet international standards, but also enable the government to save much money needed for development”.
He acknowledged the recent breakthroughs recorded in the field of medicine by UBTH doctors.
Responding, Ibadin disclosed that UBTH “renders vital and essential health services, particularly the In-Vitro Fertilization (test tube babies), stem cell plantation and the total kneel replacement.”