The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Atiku Abubakar, has said more investment in the health sector is needed to end medical tourism.
Newsonline reports that the former vice president said hospitals in the country are not operating according to world standards, which he said was responsible for his foreign medical trips.
Atiku Abubakar said this on Sunday at Arise TV Townhall meeting for presidential candidates ahead of the 2023 election.
Atiku said to end medical tourism, private sector investment will be harnessed by his administration if elected to bring the health sector of the country to standard.
“Another issue is medical tourism. We need to sit with the private sector and tell them we want them to invest in the health sector and that we are ready to offer incentives. With the right incentives, I believe Nigeria’s private sector will invest adequately in the health sector.
“We need to first address the issue of primary healthcare. After addressing this, which affects the majority of our citizens, then we can focus on the secondary and tertiary levels. The truth is that we are not investing enough as a government in the medical sector.”
Atiku also disclosed that he will address the high number of poverty with education and programmes aimed at alleviating the poverty of the masses.
He recalled as vice president under former president Obasanjo, their administration put up programmes including NEEDS and SEEDS to address poverty in the country.
“When we were in power, the poverty rate was not this high. We implemented this NEEDS (National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy) and SEEDS (State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy) which significantly reduced poverty.
“I believe the program initiated by the PDP government, which brought down the poverty rate in Nigeria, should be sustained,” he said.
The PDP presidential candidate also said he would assure that funds for local governments get to them directly if elected. Atiku said with the local government closer to the people, development will touch every part of the country.
“When I assumed office as VP in 1999 I was placed in charge of LG allocations. I gave instructions that all LGA funds should be transferred directly to the LGAs. After 9 months the governments of the states protested and said it was illegal.
“We must look at the constitution and determine how to ensure that local government funds are directly allocated to the LGAs and applied in the best ways possible.”