Nigeria’s National Health Bill was signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan on December 9, 2014.

The aim of the Act is to establish a framework for the regulation, development and management of a National Health System, to set standards for rendering health services in the Federation and other matters concerned therewith.

Structures for its implementation have been set up but the presidential launch of the act is still being awaited.

Aims of the Act:

  • The Act is set to achieve the Universal Health Coverage and meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target.
  • The Act also provides for the elimination of quacks from professionalism and provide basic health funds needed by Nigerians
  • The Act was also enacted for the purpose of providing healthcare insurance to certain class of people who are actually deprived
  • The Act seeks to reduce maternal and infant mortality rate: More pregnant women would have access to free delivery services while their children are assured of standard pediatric services.
  • The Act is also for the purpose of providing health care insurance for classes of people who are deprived.

The Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, APHPN, has now called for a speedy launch of the Act to enable Nigerians benefit from it.

This was part of the recommendations made by the association in a communiqué after its 32nd Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting in Abuja at the weekend.

The announcement also stated that government should identify and document public health challenges of IDPs in Nigeria while the National Health Insurance Scheme should be reorganized and empowered to accelerate the attainment of the Universal Health Coverage through effective community based health insurance.

The public health physicians also called on government at all levels to put in place robust surveillance networks at state and regional levels to fast-track response operations.

Author: Yemi Olarinre