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NMA urges NASS to expedite action on pending health bills

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By Ummul Idris

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has urged the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of five health bills currently before it.

NMA President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, made the call on Monday in Abuja when he led a solidarity protest to NASS.

He said that the bills were meant to improve health services in Nigeria, adding that NMA had been fully mobilised with its affiliated bodies to contribute to the national development through the bills.

Ujah said that the bills would also help to improve health of Nigerians and that the National Assembly must be prevailed upon to pass the bills without further delay.

He said “I want to let you know that people support this bill because we need manpower to improve the health of Nigerians.”

He said that doctors, nurses and pharmacists and all the allied medical professionals were all needed as manpower to improve the health sector .

“Also, the bill to improve funding for health is still pending before NASS.

“As you all know, we have irregular and minimal support in terms of healthcare financing and we think this the way to go.

“I personally will want it to be transformed to health bank just like Bank of Agriculture and Bank of Industry, if Bank of Agriculture and Industry will exist why not Bank of Health.

“Therefore, in the quest for health transformation, NASS should ensure that we have sustainable funding for health so that our people can benefit from health services,” he said.

Ujah added that “Another bill is to improve medical and dental regulation practice in Nigeria which is put forward by Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.”

He said that if the bill passed through, it would mean that the country had brought innovation to medical practice in Nigeria, while expressing optimism that it would scale through.

He said “Finally, the issue of maternal death, as a gynecologist, I feel very bad and pained that many women die in pregnancy and child birth with their children and we think that we should have surveillance audited system.”

He said the bill was put forward by Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria with other members of the group, adding that the NMA was in agreement with the bill.

” If we do this, we will be able to effectively monitor the outcome in pregnancy and child birth because I know pregnancy is not a disease and by my training nobody should die of giving birth

“So these are the five bills before the senate,” he said.

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