“We are the only continent that has its leaders seeking medical services outside the continent, outside our territory. We must be ashamed of that. This is called health tourism. We must promote our own.”
The South African Health Minister was speaking at a World Health Organization (WHO)meeting of African health ministers in in Zimbabweto discuss strategies to tackle the continent’s public health problems.
The South African Health Minister also stated that the only way to fix our broken health systems is if leaders, use the same facilities as the citizens. And, added that he and his family use the public health system.
Dr Motsoaledi also urged governments to increase funding to local facilities.
The president of the meetings host country, Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe frequently travels to Singapore for medical care. Other African leaders who frequently seek treatment abroad are Nigerian President Muhamadu Buhari who just returned from London after 100 days of treatment; Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Angola’s outgoing president José Eduardo dos Santos, Benin’s President Patrice Talon and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
The BBC reported that when Dr Motsoale made the comments in a plenary session, his remarks were met with silence from the other member states represented.