The Presidency, Tuesday night, reacted to reports by an online newspaper that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government is proposing to spend N3.87 billion on capital projects at the State House Medical Centre, Aso Rock, Abuja.
The breakdown of line items in the 2016 Appropriation Bill shows that a total of N3.87billion was allocated for capital projects at the State House Clinic,
Senior Special Adviser to the President on (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu in a statement explained that the State House Clinic is not the President’s or anyone’s personal clinic but one which looks after government officials and others.
According to him, increased spending on government health institutions in the current budget should be seen in the light of President Buhari administration’s plan to improve medical facilities at home, as well as discourage medical tourism by citizens which impact negatively on the country’s foreign reserve.
The statement reads: “We react to the story: “2016 Budget: Buhari to spend more on State House Clinic than on all federal govt-owned teaching hospitals.”
“This report is not simply off the mark but one that is insensitive to the government’s effort to improve medical facilities at home in Nigeria.
“According to the draft 2016 budget presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, the budget for the State House Clinic is N3.8billion.
“Contrary to the published newspaper report, the total for health institutions as given by the Director-General, Budget Office is more than N200 billion.
“The 17 teaching hospitals have more than 50 percent of that allocation.
“Anyone interested can check out the detailed allocations to the teaching hospitals, the federal medical centers and the specialist hospitals owned by the federal government.
“It is also important to explain that the State House Clinic is not the President, or anyone’s personal clinic but one which looks after government officials and many others who are not.
“The increased spending on government health institutions in the current budget should be seen in the light of the administration’s plan to improve medical facilities at home as a way of discouraging overseas trips in search of treatment by citizens which eat away from our foreign exchange.”