Speaking at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting of African health ministers, Motsoaledi said Africa must be the only continent where the leaders travel abroad for health reasons.
He was addressing the conference in Zimbabwe hours after President Robert Mugabe, who himself makes regular trips to Singapore for eye treatment, opened the meeting. Mugabe had left the event by the time Mr Motsoaledi spoke.
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.”
In the past year five African heads of state have gone overseas for medical reasons, they are:
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