BusinessDay

Jonathan finally signs National Health Bill into law

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President Goodluck Jonathan has finally signed the National Health Bill into law, BusinessDay investigations gather.  The Bill, which is now an Act of Parliament seeks to provide a framework for the regulation, development and management of a National Health system and set standards for rendering health service in the country.

According to Nigeria Health Watch, Reuben Abati, presidential spokesman on Twitter said that this is a fantastic end of year present to Nigeria, given that the bill was running the risk of expiry for the second time, having made its way through both Houses of Assembly twice. This development cones as stakeholders in the health sector describes the National Health Bill as an important crossroads’ in the development of the country’s health sector.

The Act will establish a basic health care fund through deduction of an additional one per cent of Nigeria’s Consolidated Revenue Account (CRA) for primary health care. This is in addition to the expected counterpart funding contribution from the states and local government areas.

Benjamin Anyene, chairman, Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON) board of trustees, said the implementation of the Bill will save the lives of three million women and children over a five-year period.

Anyene noted that the national health bill increases funding, addresses inequities and responds better to the health needs of the population.

“With the passage of the health Bill, health services will improve. More Nigerians  especially the vulnerable  group will be able to access quality services and health status and satisfaction with services will also improve.” Anyene said.

 

Alexander Chiejina

 

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