FG May Bar Civil Servants from treatment abroad

To check capital flight, the federal government will soon issue a white paper barring civil servants from travelling abroad for medical treatment.

Worried by the trend, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu disclosed yesterday in Abuja that he would soon send a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the body vested with the authority to issue such directives, for consideration and approval.

When approved, the minister said that civil servants would only get approvals to travel abroad for medical treatment if such ailments could not be treated in the hospitals in the country.

Prof. Chukwu said that the facilities in some of the hospitals in the country had been upgraded with qualified professionals and wondered why Nigerians, especially civil servants preferred going abroad for medical treatment.

He said that the ministry was tracking up some ‘unscrupulous medical doctors’, whom he said specialised in giving ailing Nigerians referrals to foreign hospitals for a fee. The minister assured that this category of medical doctors would be prosecuted.

The minister said that some foreign airlines had lodged complaints with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over repeated incidents of Nigerian travellers who died either on board their aircraft or while on transit.

On the resurgence of polio in the country, the minister admitted that the general elections of 2011 were a major distraction coupled with the security challenges facing the country.

He said that President Goodluck Jonathan had approved the sum of N4.7 billion for the eradication of polio in the country. He said that the amount doubled what was approved for last year, noting that funding would not be a problem.

He was optimistic that the set target would be achieved, as according to him, the state governors, traditional rulers and religious leaders have agreed to stamp out the scourge

Author: nmmin

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