By Abiemwense Moru
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, on Friday spent N3.76 million to settle bills of patients at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.
The bills of N1.26 million for five patients with critical issues were settled while N2.5 million dropped with the hospital’s management to cover the bills of other patients.
Out of the critical cases, N500, 000 was paid for a cancer patient, N300, 000 for an orthopaedic case, N200, 000 each for a policeman with gunshot injury and an unsettled bill, and N60, 000 for a man with renal problem.
Dogara, who made the gesture during a visit to hospital, said he was there to assess the quality of facilities and to assist indigent patients.
He said that the settlement of the bills was with the assistance of some his colleagues, who had concern for patients in need.
“We came to assess the quality of facilities here to see where we can assist. As lawmakers, we appropriate funds for Federal Government agencies and the visit is to identify areas we can assist.
“I want to say that with the contribution from some of my colleagues, I will settle the bills of some of the cases we came across”.
Dogara said that visit to the hospital was part of his tour of projects in his constituency “and to thank the people of the state for their support’’.
Receiving the speaker, the acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Abubakar Kadas, said that the institution has been facing financial difficulties in providing its services.
He commended the speaker for picking the bills of the patients, and for his continued support to the hospital.
Kadas stated that the management of the hospital would continue to count on the House of Representatives for necessary assistance.
One of the patients, Mr Ismaila Sule, said that he was glad for the speaker’s visit and intervention.
He appealed to other politicians to emulate him.
Some members of the National Assembly, including Sen. Suleiman Nazif, Sen. Ali Wakili, Rep. Halliru Jika, Ossy Prestige, Edward Pwajok, Hassan Saleh and Benjamin Iorember accompanied the speaker on the visit.