Senator Chris Ngige yesterday described the passage of the National Health Bill as a development which will elevate and enhance the practice and provision of healthcare services in Nigeria.
In an interactive session with the Senate Press Corps, Senator Ngige, a medical doctor maintained that “for the first time, there will a law offering a composite framework for the development, regulation and management of health system and setting of standards in the country.
“Additionally, the bill allows for inter-sectorial and inter-departmental collaboration, which will facilitate research, planning and overall general management of health services”.
Another milestone achieved by the bill is the establishment for the National Council of Health, a technical committee whose membership comprises all professional health associations/interests, trado-medical associations and private health providers. This membership is in addition to the statutory members like commissioners of health, permanent secretaries, and directors. The Committee shall advise the council on its function and any other matter the council shall refer to it.
Senator Ngige, a member of the senate committee on health and primary healthcare, who retired as a deputy director from the Ministry of Health stressed that it is equally significant that the bill provides for a quantum of fund from the consolidated revenue of the federation account to be used for the payment of medical services for the very poor, provision of immediate healthcare for accident victims and all those unable to pay their hospital bills.
It also ensures proper funding for the basic healthcare system, known as primary healthcare and the ever widening specialist healthcare.
Another provision of the bill is for the establishment of “essential drug formulary and essential drug list and safety of drugs. The implication is that there will be a compendium of drug list, which will be reviewed periodically,” Ngige pointed out.
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