Stop funding politicians’ medical tourism , Melaye tells FG
The senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, has advised the Federal Government to stop sponsoring politically-exposed persons in the country abroad for medical treatment.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a legislative network for universal health coverage in Nigeria, Melaye disclosed that over N400 billion was spent on transportation of politically-exposed persons abroad in four years, adding that the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) must challenge both the legislative and executive arm of government to ensure that the right thing is done.
He said: “When I was a member of the House of Representatives, I moved a Bill saying that all politically-exposed persons should not be sponsored on medical trip abroad, because I discovered that within the period of three to four years, over N400billion was spent on transporting politically-exposed persons abroad on medical privilege.
“A minister can wake up with his girlfriend and proceed to America and they will tell you that it is toothache and by the time he comes back, $200,000 has been spent. If we spend over N400billion in three to four years, we can equally tell you that we injected N50billion in National Hospital today, the medical privilege to India, Egypt and Germany must stop.
“Today in this country, our health situation is crazy, the rich live longer because they have the opportunity to travel abroad for medical treatment. Imagine if the President were not flown abroad, the story would have been different.
“But we must continue to ask ourselves how long shall we continue living in sane and act brave? It is time for us to actually bring about that change and the time is now.”According to Melaye, every citizen must ask questions and hold the government accountable for the change to come.