PORT OF SPAIN South MP Eric Williams has paid out of his own pocket for his eye surgery in the United States because MPs do not have a medical plan.
The Express understands the medical procedure Williams underwent on Wednesday night, to reconstruct his right eye socket cost about US$15,000 (TT$90,000).
Williams, 50, had suffered the injury in a car accident in Nigeria, in late May.
His two-hour surgery took place at the Herman Memorial Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Interviewed by telephone yesterday from his room at Herman Memorial, Williams said the surgery was successful and he was on "heavy pain killers" but would not say how much the procedure had cost.
"It will take several months to heal. I will be out of Trinidad for a month," he said.
"I have had to undertake it on my own, so far, and I have to approach the Government for a refund as any other citizen.
There is no medical plan for MPs, for Ministers, not MPs," Williams said yesterday.
He later said "friends and family" helped him with the expenses.
In the 80th report of the Salaries Review Commission, approved by the Parliament, medical benefits are not included under the list of benefits that apply to MPs nor Senators.
The SRC report states that the Prime Minister and Ministers of Government are entitled to medical benefits.
Williams had been the Energy Minister until he resigned the post in January 2006, after being charged with receiving bribes for a seismic project.
As his court matter is still ongoing, Williams has decided not to contest any seat in the next General Election.
Wa happen? Like dey aint give he no credit card or wa ?
He coulda see real good to collect fockin money in ah brown bag outside Smokey and Bunty. Maybe Frankie is one of dem friends who lend em a lil change to do the operation.
Ah hope he declare da money to the Integrity Comm. before he geh lick up like Bas, buh den again dem will send back the form for him to make corrections.