S.A health minister slams African leaders for medical tourism

Health campaigners have regularly criticised these foreign trips arguing that they undermine the health service at home.


This phenomenon has been passionately condemned by South Africa’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi

Addressing participants of the World Health Organization (WHO) meeting of African health ministers in Zimbabwe, Mr Motsoaledi stated that the African continent must be the only place where its leaders travel abroad to seek medical attention.

His statements came hours after President Robert Mugabe a regular patron of medical tourism opened the meeting.

Mr Motsoaledi spoke in the absence of the Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe

In terms of time spent abroad getting medical help, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, 74, is the first among equals, but in the past year all these heads of state have travelled overseas for health reasons.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe

Benin's President Patrice Talon

Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Newsday newspaper quoted South Africa's health minister as saying:

"I have said this before and I will say it again: 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".

Health campaigners in Africa keep arguing that these regular foreign trips undermine the health service at home.


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