The bill for free Health Care Service Delivery for all Nigerian children has passed the second reading.
This was passed on, Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
Titled “Bill for an Act to make Health Care Service Delivery Free for all Children in Nigeria, and for Related Matters (HB. 1504)”. The bill is sponsored by Hon. Bello Kaoje (APC, Kebbi).
Kaoje led the debate on the plenary. He said that it was first introduced in July this year.
To this effect Save, One Million (SOML) was created by the Federal Government healthcare initiative.
He stressed the importance of free medical services free for children in Nigeria.
He said, “Children’s health needs are significantly different from those of adults. By nature, children grow and develop at rapid rates, placing them at special risk of being affected by illness and injury. If health problems are not identified and treated, they can affect a child’s cognitive, physical, behavioural, and emotional development. The Bill will give the following unique and immediate benefits. The health care services shall include diagnoses, treatment, prevention of illness and other physical and mental impairment in children in Nigeria.
“The services shall be rendered by the Government Hospitals in Nigeria. The services shall cover referral cases of children from other states, Local Government hospitals or any other private hospital in Nigeria. Monitoring and implementation of the Bill to ensure implementation of this Act, upon commencement, the Federal Ministry of Health shall make definite procedures, guidelines as well as monitor and implement the provisions of this Act, coordinate-free health care services delivery to the children in Nigeria and ensure transparency and accountability in the free health care services delivery to the children in Nigeria.”
Minority leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta). Elumelu said that the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) already makes this provision. He claimed that the rural communities give free healthcare delivery.
When the speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila asked if this claim was true, he answered in the affirmative.
“Yes, in the rural area. They are all there. So, what you could do, there’s no need to rush, pick up that healthcare Act and go through it to see if I’m contradicting in my submission,” he said.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) requested more enlightenment on the bill.
“The duty and response as a parliament are to ensure, good healthcare delivery to our citizens. I have also taken into cognizance what my leader (Elumelu) has said which is also germane. The sponsor of the Bill should be allowed to address us on the economics of it. It will be very helpful. I will also like to get some enlightenment regarding the Federal Government being responsible for primary healthcare a responsibility also that’s also being done by the local government and state governments. So that when we are talking about restructuring, we should take these things into consideration. I think we should get some enlightenment on these”, he said.
Hon. Solomon Maren (PDP, Plateau) supported that more enlightenment is made on the bill. He demanded that the bill be stepped down.
Meanwhile, Hon. Gudaji Kazaure (APC, Jigawa), supported the bill. He said that it was highly beneficial for the Nigerian child.
“This is a very simple issue. It’s a policy of primary healthcare and this bill is trying to make it compulsory for all children to receive healthcare delivery free. This is a very important Bill, Minority Leader. If we pass this Bill, we do something very nice as the 9th Assembly and Mr President will assent to it. There’s no existing law that says healthcare delivery for children is free. So, this bill is in order”, he said.
The Bill was eventually adopted after getting favourable majority support and referred to the House committee on healthcare services for further legislative action.