Dr. Tope Ojo, Lagos State Chairman of NMA, made this call at a press briefing on the activities leading to its General Meeting/Scientific conference in Lagos on Sunday.
Ojo asked the President to issue directives to the heads of various government agencies in the country to ensure that the policy takes effect immediately.
According to him, public officeholders still used public funds to pay for medical treatment in UK, United States and India for ailments that could be handled effectively in local health facilities.
Ojo said there was a provision for the ban in the National Health Act and failure to do so could amount to a violation of the Act.
He stated, “The ban on overseas medical treatment should be implemented immediately if the President is committed to eradicating corruption. Why should government pay for a treatment that could have been handled in any Nigerian hospital?
“The Federal Government must insist that Nigerians should access healthcare locally to help generate funds to equip hospitals and also recover the billions of naira that Nigerian patients have paid to develop other countries’ health care system.”
Dr. Peter Ogunnubi, Lagos NMA Deputy Secretary, also urged the Federal Government to influence the passage of the Mental Health Bill.
Ogunnubi said the absence of the bill has exposed mentally challenged patients to several acts of victimisation and discrimination in the society.
He said, “Government has not paid attention to issues concerning mental health even though statistics show that 20 percent of the Nigerian population is living with one form of mental challenge. If the bill becomes a law, the rights of patients will be protected.”