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COVID-19: Senate considers bill to boost advanced healthcare in Nigeria



COVID-19: Senate considers bill to boost advanced healthcare in Nigeria

Senator Sandy Onor

Senate has considered a critical bill which seeks to boost advanced healthcare service delivery in Nigeria to act as safeguard and response to medical emergency in the future.
The piece of legislation sponsored by Senator Sandy Onor (PDP Cross River Central), seeks to establish the Advanced Healthcare Development Fund.
Onor, while leading debate on the bill bemoaned the healthcare system in the country, saying same was inadequate to meet the needs of Nigerians.
According to him, “the current state of tertiary healthcare in Nigeria can only be described as grossly inadequate and unable to meet the healthcare needs of the citizens.
“Nigeria’s tertiary healthcare system has been ranked 162 in the world with the adequacy of health care practitioners ranked 119; health facilities ranked 131, care systems ranked at 162 and health coverage ranked at 149.
“Put simply, Nigeria is not performing well in any component of Advanced/Tertiary health care,” Senator Onor said.
Citing a most recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the lawmaker observed that Nigeria’s current tertiary health challenges span infrastructure to personnel inadequacy.
“Nigeria has a poor ratio of approximately four Doctors for every 10,000 citizens, 15 Nursing and Midwifery personnel for every 10,000 citizens, one Dentist for every 10,000 citizens and one Pharmacist for every 10,000 citizens. These and other indicators undoubtedly paint a very woeful picture,” Onor said.
The lawmaker while speaking on the state of teaching hospitals in the country, attributed their inability to develop and record breakthroughs in preventive and curative medicine to poor funding, corruption and infrastructural decay.
Contributing to the debate, Ibikunle Amosun (APC Ogun Central) advised that the upper chamber to come up with a workable arrangement that would avoid duplicity of responsibilities with the establishment of the Advanced Healthcare Development Fund.
Senator Stella Oduah (PDP Anambra North) on her part said the consideration of the bill by the National Assembly “is an opportunity for us to restructure and do what we ought to do and in a proper manner.”
The bill which was exhaustively debated by Senators on the floor, was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Health chaired by Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC Kwara Central) to report back in four weeks.
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