President Jonathan Signs Long-Awaited National Health Bill Into law

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Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, has signed the long-awaited National Health Bill.

According to Premium Times it was confirmed by presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati.

Abati said: “Yes, he did weeks ago and the bill has since been transmitted back to the clerk of the National Assembly.”

The Bill, which is now an Act of Parliament seeks to deliver a framework for the regulation, development and management of a National Health system and set standards for rendering health service in Nigeria.

Reuben Abati, presidential spokesman, also 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 shareholders in the health sector describes the National Health Bill as an important crossroads’ in the development of the country’s health sector.

The bill clearly describes the various roles and functions to be played by the three tiers of government on health related subjects.

It is expected to help the country achieve universal health service, guarantee improvement in the health sector, regulate healthcare practice, and promote professionalism among healthcare givers.

The various states across Nigeria through this fund, are expected to improve on primary health care services in their states.

The bill also covers provision of health care insurance for Nigerians especially the less privileged.

About 15 percent of the one percent fund will be for the provision and maintenance of facilities, equipment and transport for PHC facilities, while 20 per cent will cover essential vaccines and consumables for all eligible primary healthcare facilities across Nigeria.

A report on the bill was offered by a House committee assigned to consider amendments and the results of public hearings on the bill in July.

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