The Presidency has denied a report that President Muhammadu Buhari is planning to spend more on State House Clinic in 2016 than on all federal government-owned teaching hospitals.
According to the report, the State House Clinic will get N787million more in capital allocation in the 2016 budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly than all the 17 teaching hospitals combined.
The report also said that State House Clinic, which boasts of state-of-the-art medical equipment, is a facility that provides healthcare for only President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, their families and other employees of the Presidency, which it put their number at less than a thousand.
But the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Wednesday, described the report as not only off the mark, but insensitive to government’s effort to improve medical facilities at home in Nigeria.
Shehu also said in the draft 2016 budget presented to the federal lawmakers, the sum allocated to State House Clinic is N3.8 billion.
The statement reads in part: “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”.