By SOLA OGUNDIPE
ABUJA — A Bill to stop public servants from travelling abroad at the expense of the Federal Government for treatment of ailments that can be satisfactorily tackled in Nigeria, is to be presented to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, this year.
President Goodluck Jonathan, is also billed to flag off a stroke awareness campaign in Abuja, as part of measures to tackle the rising burden of stroke, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases in the country.
Disclosing this, weekend, during the presentation of his score card to the press, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said the Federal Ministry of Health was already compiling a list of health facilities that could handle specific ailments that Nigerians often go abroad to treat.
Chukwu, who observed that the Bill, which was being carefully composed, would become effective this year, asserted that compilation of the list began last year. He said even though the list is not exhaustive, it is being regularly updated.
His words: “It is correct to say the Federal government will not sponsor any case that can be satisfactorily handled in Nigeria. We are still at the level of the top management committee of the health ministry. It is a long process, we do not want to send a half-baked memo to the FEC, so it has to be well thought out and we have to carry people along.
“It is not enough for the Minister of Health to ask the President-in-Council that we should no longer sponsor public servants for cases that can be handled in Nigeria. We should know where these cases can be handled here.