The Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, has told the federal government to stop paying the medical bills of politicians who go abroad for treatment.
Melaye stated this while speaking at a programme on universal health coverage in Abuja on Saturday.
The lawmaker charged the federal government to end the privileges currently enjoyed by “politically-exposed” individuals, who are fully funded on medical trips abroad.
He advised that the funds should instead be channelled into building and maintaining hospitals in Nigeria.
“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 N50 billion 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 insane? It is time for us to actually bring about that change and the time is now,” Melaye said.