Group urges Buhari to sign all health bills passed by Eighth National Assembly
As the Eighth National Assembly winds up on June 9, 2019, a group, National Health Advocates, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to give assent to all pending health bills passed by the National Assembly.
The group listed the bills to include the National Health Insurance Commission Bill, which provides a policy framework that makes health insurance mandatory in Nigeria; the bills to establish the FCT Health Insurance Agency and the FCT Primary Health Care Development Board; among others.
Chairman of the group, Mohammed Usman, while briefing journalists yesterday in Abuja, observed that the implication of not giving assent to these bills before June 9, 2019, is the fact that they will have to be returned to the Ninth National Assembly for consideration and undergo another long legislative process.
Usman, who commended the National Assembly for the appropriation of N51.22 billion as the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in 2019 budget in line with Section 11 of the National Health Act 2014 however, noted that more is desired as it is captured under service wide vote (capital budget) and not as a statutory transfer as required by the National Health Act.He said: “This makes the budget provision weak with potential for not getting a full release and delayed disbursement as was witnessed in 2018.
“We wish to sincerely commend the Eighth National Assembly for a job well done and for the passage of the health bills and for the first time ever, appropriating money for the establishment of Catastrophic Health Fund (CHF), which will support the financing of the top three cancers in Nigeria (Breast, Prostate and Cervix).”