The Nigerian National Health Bill 2011: Delay of Presidential Assent to an Act: Issues Arising
AbstractThe Nigerian National Health Bill (NHB) was finally passed by the National Assembly on May 19 2011 after many years of delay. If the NHB is signed into law by the President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, it becomes an act that provides a framework for the regulation, development and management of the national health system and set standards for rendering health services in the federation, and other matters connected therewith. The NHB is arranged in parts and clauses, and there are seven main parts. Contained in the NHB are some good innovations, such as the establishment of the National Primary Health Care Development Fund and National Tertiary Hospitals Commission. Currently, the NHB is stuck in the presidency where it has been sent for Mr President's assent, as health sector professionals disagree over some parts and clauses in the Bill. The areas of conflict include: the headship of the National Tertiary Hospitals Commission, the establishment of the Nigerian National Health Council and membership of the National Health System. Several appeals had been made to the President by organisations, groups and individuals to sign the NHB into Law. The President had set up a Presidential Team to look into concerns raised about the passed NHB and resolve the issues. Hopefully, the NHB will be signed by the President into law when these issues are resolved.
Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care VOL. 23, NOS 1&2, MAR/SEPT. 2011