Minister for health in South Africa, Aaron Motsoaledi while speaking in Zimbabwe at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting of African health ministers, criticised African leaders for seeking medical treatment abroad.
Motsoaledi stated that Africa is the only continent where the leaders travel abroad for health reasons. He spoke just hours after President Robert Mugabe, known for his frequent medical trips to Singapore opened the meeting. However, Mr. Mugabe was not present at the time Mr. Motsoaledi spoke.
“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.”
In the past year, five African Presidents have gone overseas for medical treatment, including Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, Benin’s President Patrice Talon, Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.