How Non-passage of Bill Puts Health of Nigerians in Jeopardy, by HERFON

On 24/Aug/2013 / In Medical News

THE Health Sector Reform Coalition (HERFON) has lamented the non-passage of the National Health Bill and its implications on the health of the nation.
The organisation say s the two per cent consolidated revenue of the federal government, about N60 billion ($380 million), as provided for in the National Health Bill, would provide free primary health care for Nigerians every year.
Similarly, Save the Children International has called on the stakeholders in the healthy sector to close ranks and move for the passage of the National Health Bill
HERFON and Save the Children International officials spoke at a parley in Abuja where they highlighted the importance of accelerating passage of the Bill in Abuja.
Advocacy Advisor, Save the Children International, Dr. David Olayemi, noted that the National Health Bill was about lives and making the nation’s health care to work efficiently.
He said that millions of lives were endangered because a few professionals were fighting over positions in the bill.
HERFON on its part has lamented how the delay in passage of the health bill was responsible for the death of several Nigerians unable to acquire health care.
Executive Secretary of HERFON, Dr. Muhammed Lecky, stressed that the N60 billion fund would guarantee provision of free medical care for the most vulnerable, and the establishment of minimum healthcare services package for selected groups such as children below the age of five, pregnant women, adults above the age of 65 and people with disabilities.
He added that the fund would also help to extend primary healthcare to 60 per cent of Nigerians living in hard-to-reach rural communities.
He said that the passage of the National Health Bill remained a task that must be done for better health for all Nigerians.
“It is thus everybody’s business regardless of status, gender and position in life to rise and speak with one loud voice in demanding the passage of the Health Bill. We, members of the Health Sector Reform Coalition are calling on the National Assembly to take all necessary steps to pass the National Health Bill and send it to President Goodluck Jonathan for signing into law,” Lecky said.
Stressing that there was no perfect bill as needless lives were lost, including women, children, the poor and the vulnerable, he said non-passage of health bill killing Nigerians.
He added: “Nigerians have waited far too long for this basic principle of fundamental human right to health care. Needless lives have been lost and continue to die; children, women, the poor and the vulnerable.”
Executive Director for Evidence for Action, Dr. Segun Tunde noted that government needed to focus on the interest and health benefit of the masses.
His words:  “The Health Bill proposes 50 per cent of the fund to be used for the provision of basic minimum package in eligible primary health care through the National Health Insurance (NHIS). 25 per cent per cent of the fund is to be used for provision of essential drugs for primary health care while 15 per cent of the fund shall be used for the provision and maintenance of facilities, equipment and transport for Primary Health Care (PHC).”

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