From Ahmad Muhammad Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar has assented to four bills that are critical to the health sector revitalization and sustainable development.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Zuwaira Ibrahim Hassan stated this when she addressed a press conference in Bauchi on Thursday.
She said the law was enacted after wide consultations with stakeholders and adjudged to confirm to national and international best practices.
The four health bills assented to by Governor Abubakar and passed into law by Bauchi State House of Assembly according to the Commissioner are, a law to establish the Directorate of Medical Laboratory services in the Ministry of Health and Hospitals Management Board Bauchi and other Matters connected there with and a law to establish a Directorate of Traditional Medicine to Regulate the practice of Traditional Medicine, to register practitioners and license practitioners and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Others are a law to provide for the establishment of Bauchi State Health Trust Fund (BHETFUND) charged with the responsibility for collection, management and disbursing the fund to the public health institutions (Training Institutions, Primary and Secondary Heath Facilities) and services in the state and for other connected purposes and a law to provide for the establishment of the Bauchi State Health Contributory Management Agency to Institute the Bauchi State Health Contributory Programs for all residents of Bauchi state and for connected purposes.
She said the state Government will work with partners and civil society organization to come up with comprehensive operational guidelines to ease implementation of the programmes.
Dr Zuwaira said “Let me provide a brief about law to provide for the establishment of BHETFUND. Under this law, the fund shall be generated from 5% of the monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state government, 1% of the statutory allocation of each of the local government councils of the state and 1% of the amount if all contracts awarded by the state government and local government councils in the state,”.
The Commissioner said, “When the Bauchi State Health Contributory Management Agency comes to effect, it will improve Universal Health Coverage by reducing cost of out of picket expenses and improve coverage such as outpatient care, treatment in the hospital for inpatients, antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women, provide cost of essential drugs, laboratory tests and screening including pediatric services, we will start with formal sector and later expand to informal sector including community services”
Dr Zuwaira said plan is under way for submission of a memo to the Governor for the establishment of High Level Steering Committee saddled with the responsibility of providing leadership for the takeoff of the strategic laws assented to.
She urged the citizens of the state as well as the state health workforce to cooperate with government in making the laws become reality.