The law will ban the sale of coffins and burial garments near hospitals in Ondo.
The Ondo State Government has concluded arrangements to promulgate a law banning activities of burial garment and coffin sellers within the vicinity of the state’s specialist hospitals in Akure.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dayo Adeyanju, disclosed the plan on Tuesday during the launching of a programme tagged “Working Together for Health.
He said government was concerned and greatly disturbed by the advertisement of death accessories to those who need encouragement to survive the sickness that brought them to the hospital in the first instance.
Mr. Adeyanju said the programme is aimed at coordinating activities of health workers to ensure maximum service delivery at the State Hospital and all the state’s health institutions.
“The activities of these merchants of accessories of death already constitute a nuisance within our hospital environment.
“It is highly disturbing to see advertisements of coffins at our hospital gates. What message are the promoters of these businesses sending to the sick who should be in the right frame of mind to receive treatment, the relatives who brought the sick and the general ambience surrounding our hospitals. You should not be seen promoting death where we are encouraging and sustaining life,” he said.
He added that a bill seeking to ban the sales of these items would soon be sent to the House of Assembly for passage.
The executive bill will outlaw the sale of the coffins, promotion of the business of undertakers and location of offices of morbid ventures near health facilities; and non-compliance would attract penalties from the courts.
Mr. Adeyanju disclosed further that the law had already been drafted by the office of the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and that the new bill will be one of the first to be presented to the legislators in the coming year.
The Commissioner said “the programme would ensure that we have the best in terms of service delivery. The whole essence of the hospital is caring and with this programme, we are ensuring that we all put in our best to achieve this aim”.
“We have in place telephone lines that would be used to report anybody that does not do his or her bit in the chain of care for the patients and appropriate sanctions would be given to such a health worker from the highest to the least in the organogram,” he said.
Mr. Adeyanju, however, appealed to the passion and sense of duty of the doctors, nurses and other health workers devote their “time and energy to the care” of patients.
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