Following the signing into law of the National Health Bill, several groups and individuals have come out to commend President Goodluck Jonathan.
One of such groups is the Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC) which warned that from now on “there should be no more rejection of accident and emergency victims by both public and private hospitals; no excuse for failure of health services for Nigerians.” adding that the new law “Provides for severe punishment and imprisonment for removal of human organs and prohibits reproductive and therapeutic cloning of human kind.”
The Executive Secretary of HSRC, Dr. Muhammed Lecky who spoke to newsmen in Abuja said: “Now that we have the Healthcare Act, we expect that health services for Nigerians would be transformed; there should be no excuse for failure as the new health law provides funding from the Federal Government (with counterpart funding from state and LGs) for guaranteed basic minimum healthcare for all. Children below the age of five, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities would receive free health care,” he said.
He continued: “The new health law empowers the Minister of Health to promptly resolve, within a forthnight, any industrial action in the health sector, which is one of the persistent challenges confronting healthcare development in Nigeria. As a CSO platform, we accept that the journey to this point has been tortuous which has turned out to be well worth it. We also recognise that the Health Act remains a framework for which we need to quickly reorganise, reenergise and refocus to take on the undoubtedly arduous task ahead of developing appropriate policy guidance and mechanisms to make the Health Act work.
“We in the Health Sector Reform Coalition as the watchdog of the national health system, pledge our commitment to work with constituted government authorities at federal, state and local levels and with other stakeholders in assuring space for meaningful engagements at national, state and local levels in ensuring the people’s ownership and for the full operationalisation, implementation and accountability on the National Health Law.”