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HEALTH

Reps Pass Bill To Amend Orthopedic Hospital Board Act

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The House of Representatives yesterday passed amendment of the Orthopedic Hospital Management  Board Act through Second reading.

The bill which seeks to amend sections 1(1), 2(4), 3, 4, 5, 9, 10 12(1), 13(1), 14(3) and 15, as well as the first schedule of the Principal Act and, change the date of the submission of annual estimates to the Minister and increase some penalties.

Leading the debate, sponsor of the bill, Hon. Betty Apiafi noted that the Principal Act empowers the Board to prepare and submit budget estimates to the Minster, not later than the 31st day of October of each financial year.

“Such estimates shall be submitted by the Minister for approval by the President . However, going by law, the time stated in Section 10(1) of the Principal Act to submit annual estimates by the Hospital Management Board is three months to the next financial year, which falls short of the provision of the FRA  of 2007, hence the need for the amendment”.

According to Apiafi, the amendment of the Act is to reposition the management board of national orthopedic Hospitals in Nigeria and to align with international best practices.

“The bill does not violate any known constitutional provision and legislation in Nigeria rather, it seeks to amend the inadequacies observed both in grammatical expression as well as the fine being charged for violating the hospital rule as stayed in Section 15(3) of the Principal Act.

“The sum is a paltry sum (N10) that cannot deter offenders, but carries little or no financial weight with current reality,” she argued.

The bill was consequently referred to the House committee on Health Institutions for further legislative action.



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