National health Bill, Tertiary health System, legislative response
The National Health Bill was developed in 2004 as an instrument for correcting the gaps in the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as it relates to the health sector. Since the first draft in 2004, the Bill was subjected to scrutiny and refinement by the respective Health Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives. It was finally passed on 19th May 2011. It has 64 sections divided into seven parts which include establishment of National health system, health establishments, rights and duties of users and health care personnel, National health research and information system, control of use of blood, blood products, tissues and gametes in humans among others.
Its provisions have effects on all three levels of care and subsystems (primary, secondary and tertiary) including provision in sections 8 and 9 for the establishment of National Tertiary Hospital Commission. The signing of the health bill into law is however stalled by the contention of other health workers over the provision of Section 8(2) which vests the Executive Chairmanship of the proposed National Tertiary Hospitals Commission permanently on medical doctors. This privilege in Section 8(2) was repeated to Section 11(2) (b) which also vests Executive Secretaryship of the Federal Capital Territory Primary Healthcare Board on medical doctors.
Key Words: National health Bill; Tertiary health System; legislative response