The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday night, December 4, refused to pledge to use Nigeria’s public health system if he is elected the country’s leader in 2023.
Atiku made this known at a town hall meeting organized by Arise TV for presidential candidates for 2023 general election.
The town hall debate was also attended by Rabiu Kwankwanso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
The candidates had been asked to commit to declaring their health status to the public and pledge to use the country’s public health system.
Kwankwaso and Obi gave affirmative responses to both questions.
However, Atiku said that he would only disclose his health status.
The former vice-president tried to evade the question by saying only “I have” repeatedly.
However, the host’s insistence forced him to talk, and he refused to commit to using the country’s public health system if elected president, Premium Times reports.
He insisted that government must devote reasonable allocation especially to the primary health care system to make it more affordable and accessible to Nigerians.
Atiku said that, “Health facilities that cater to my health may not be available. We have limitations, and we know we have those limitations.
“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 the federal government is not investing enough in the medical sector.
“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,” he added.
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