FG Mulls Legislation To Sanitise Health Sector

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The Federal Government said it will soon come up with legislation that would regulate the healthcare sector to eliminate quacks and ensure improved service delivery.

Minister of State for Health, Dr. Tunji Alausa, stated this on Friday when he paid a courtesy call on the governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun at the Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta.

Alausa decried the unwholesome practice where untrained people are allowed to operate in the health sector.

He also lamented the prevalence of quacks from where heinous act, such as organ harvesting takes place.

The minister: “We will be pushing for a new regulation to regulate the healthcare sector as more than 60 percent of the nation’s healthcare is in the hands of the private sector without adequate supervision.

“You see hospitals, laboratories, and diagnostic centres being run without anybody checking on what they are doing and these are some of the places where illegal practices like organ harvesting are taking place.

“What we are going to do at the federal level, is to set up a Health Facility Regulatory Commission that will start regulating the standard of health care across the country and we expect the states to set up their own regulatory bodies as well.”

Dr. Alausa also hinted that the federal government is in the process of starting a programme that would increase the production of healthcare providers, starting with the admission of 10,000 medical students every year, while admission for nurses would increase from 28,000 to 68,000, annually.

Throwing more light on the Sectoral Approach Programme launched by President Bola Tinubu, the minister explained that one percent of the consolidated fund was for Basic Health Provision, 55 percent for Primary Healthcare Centres, and 45 percent for National Health Insurance, while five percent goes into Emergency Services.

He said Ogun State has been diligent in managing the Basic Health Provision Funds, which is meant for Primary Healthcare Centres, calling on the governor to adequately monitor the fund to ensure that it is directed to where it was meant for.

Dr. Alausa stated that his visit was to see how the federal government would strengthen its relationship with state governments in pushing the President’s mandate which is to revive, rejig, evaluate, and overhaul the healthcare delivery system for the benefit of Nigerians.

Responding, Governor Abiodun, said his administration would not hesitate to replicate any federal government action aimed at eliminating quackery in the health sector.

“Let me assure you that in terms of the regulation that would allow for tighter regulatory functions over medical practitioners to prevent quackery, we will not hesitate to replicate at the state level.

“We are one of the two states that have put in place a board for alternative medicine because we realized that a lot of our people, especially pregnant women are patronizing traditional birth attendance. We regulate and certify them to ensure we have some form of oversight in their activities,” Abiodun explained.

He expressed delight that the federal government was looking into the direction of increasing the number of intake in the nation’s medical institutions to address the shortfall of medical personnel in government health facilities, assuring that the state would follow suit to produce more trained practitioners for the sector.

While pledging to support the agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s led federal government to reposition the health sector, Governor Abiodun noted that as the industrial, educational, and religious hub of Nigeria, with the influx of people on daily basis, it is imperative to have adequate health facilities and qualified manpower to provide health care services to the people of the state at all times.

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