The Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire has rejected the establishment of new institutions in the sector.
He spoke against 5 legislation before the House of Representatives that seek to establish the institutions as well as make healthcare free for children.
Dr Ehanire, who appeared during a public hearing on the Bills and 12 motions organised by the House Committee on Healthcare Services, stated that the proposed institutions would duplicate functions with existing ones and increase the cost of governance.
He stated that, given the current circumstances, economic constraints, and limited funds, providing free healthcare to children would be challenging.
The Minister, represented by Zainab Shariff, Director, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Ministry, argued that the bill for an Act to establish the Public Health Practitioners Council of Nigeria is a duplication of efforts and in conflict with the respective acts establishing the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, and Africa Institute of Public Health Practice.
Concerning the bill for an Act to establish a minimum standard for healthcare facilities, the Minister stated that the Federal Ministry of Health has made significant contributions to achieving the development of the minimum standard for healthcare facilities through various initiatives.
In response to the bill for an Act to establish a minimum standard for healthcare facilities, the Minister stated that the Federal Ministry of Health has made significant contributions to guaranteeing the development of a minimum standard for healthcare facilities through various activities.
While declaring the hearing open, Deputy Chief Whip Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, who represented Speaker Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, stated that due to the dire realities of the country’s public finances, stakeholders should consider the possibility of achieving the bills’ objectives without imposing additional obligations on public finance.
Tanko Sununu, Chairman of the House Committee on Healthcare Services, said that for health to be effective, the system must be strengthened and strong enough to withstand shock, as seen during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Saadatu Albashir