Bill banning public officials from medicare abroad passes second reading

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A bill seeking to prohibit public officials from accessing medicare treatment abroad, at the expense of the government in the House of Representatives passed through Second Reading on Wednesday.

Read also: Bill proposing jail term for persons who jump queues passes second reading

Sponsored by Sergius Ogun, the bill is seeking to amend the National Health Act 2014.

Ogun yesterday at the plenary, said the bill seeks to put an end to huge costs incurred by government in the treatment of public officials abroad.

The sponsor, however, said if any public official could, on his or her own, afford medical treatment abroad, nothing stopped the person from doing so.

“I want to make it clear that it does not bar anybody that has his or her money from getting treatment abroad.

“Nigeria is the only country where the president is flown out for treatment and brought back home to die.

“Nigeria is the only country where the president is flown out for six months, without us knowing the cost of the treatment.”

He lamented the poor state of health facilities in the country and urged the House to take action and reverse the ugly situation “in the interest of the people” who voted them into office.

The lawmaker said if passed, the bill would strengthen existing public and private institutions in the country.

The bill was unopposed with the Chairman, House Committee, Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrasak Namdas. one of those who spoke for it.

Namdas said: “I support this bill.  There is need for us to curtail medical tourism.”

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