By Doyin Ojosipe
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) yesterday hailed the signing into law of the National Health Bill by the President Goodluck Jonathan on December 9, saying it is a landmark for Healthcare Reform in Nigeria.
According to a press statement, signed by the agency’s Executive Director/CEO, Dr. Ado J.G. Muhammad, “The passage of the Bill is a significant milestone towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all Nigerians. Its passage and assent has been an interesting journey for all stakeholders in Nigeria’s Health space.
“We, therefore, congratulate Mr. President, the Legislature, the Supervising Minister of Health, Civil Society, Private Sector, the media and all other proponents working to improve health outcomes in Nigeria who have been a part of this untiring advocacy for social good in Nigeria.
“Today, we celebrate a major victory for healthcare reformers across Nigeria and internationally but an even greater victory for mothers, children and families especially those who are poor – the renewed hope is that they will now have easier and more frequent access to quality healthcare services.
“On our part, we avow our commitment to bring this to bear in the efficient execution of our leadership mandate”, it stated.
The National Health Act provides for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, to provide access to basic health care services for Nigerians, the first such fund in the history of the country. This will be disbursed as grants to states.
Currently, 28 States and the Federal Capital Territory and their Local Government Areas have established State Primary Healthcare Development Agencies in readiness for implementation of the Act. The Agency and other partners achieved this through joint and sustained advocacy; the State Agencies will serve as veritable platforms to ensure equitable distribution of basic health services to Nigerians.