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House of Reps reject bill restricting public officials from foreign medical trips

botchway June 12, 2019


The House of Representatives voted out a bill seeking to regulate medical trips being embarked upon by public officials.

The proposed law was killed at the third reading during the plenary on Tuesday. The report on the ‘Bill for an Act to Amend the National Health Act 2014 to Regulate International Trips for Medical Treatment by Public Officers to Strengthen the Health Institutions for Efficient Service Delivery’ was considered by the Committee of the Whole.

While debating the report, several lawmakers claimed that the legislation would breach the right of public officials.

The bill sought to amend Section 46 of the National Health Act thus: “(1) A public officer of the Federal Government shall not embark on medical trip abroad without approval; or be sponsored for medical check-up, investigation; or treatment abroad at public expenses except in exceptional cases on the recommendation and referral by the medical board and which recommendation or referral shall be duly approved by the Minister or Commissioner as the case may be; or embark on medical trip abroad unless he satisfactorily proves to the office where the officer is working, that such ailment cannot be treated in Nigeria.”

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Lasun Yusuf, however, said the bill would discriminate against elected officials.

Another lawmaker, Mr Razak Atunwa, from Kwara State, alleged that the bill was targeted at public officials over the mismanagement of the health care sector.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Mohammed Wase, from Plateau State, urged the House to “throw away” the bill.

Credit: punchng.com

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