President Jonathan signs National Health Bill

Jonathan Goodluck, President of Nigeria

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has signed the long-awaited National Health Bill.

This was confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES, via text message, by presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati.

“Yes, he did weeks ago and the bill has since been transmitted back to the clerk of the National Assembly,” Mr. Abati said.

In July, a report on the bill was presented by a House committee assigned to consider amendments and the results of public hearings on the bill.

The committee was presided over by Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha.

However, no amendment was made by the House at plenary when it was passed. The Senate had earlier approved its version of the bill.

The bill clearly defines the various roles and functions to be played by the three tiers of government on health related issues.

It is expected to help Nigeria achieve universal health service, guarantee improvement in the health sector, regulate healthcare practice, and promote professionalism among healthcare givers.

The bill is also expected to set standards in health care services rendered across Nigeria and also help eliminate medical quacks in the system.

It seeks among others, the enablement to provide one per cent of Nigeria’s consolidated revenue fund for the development of primary health care.

The various states across Nigeria through this fund, are expected to improve on primary health care services in their states.

The bill also covers provision of health care insurance for Nigerians especially the less privileged.

About 15 percent of the one percent fund will be for the provision and maintenance of facilities, equipment and transport for PHC facilities, while 20 per cent will cover essential vaccines and consumables for all eligible primary healthcare facilities across Nigeria.

Also, 50 percent of the one percent fund that is provided for in the clause 11 under a Basic Health Care Fund will be utilized by the National Health Insurance Scheme to provide health coverage.

The bill in its entirety also takes care of the continuous crisis within professional health bodies in Nigeria.


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  • tsunami1earthquake

    Well crafted law but the pertinent question is: will the national system respect its provisions and carry them out? Nigeria has well crafted laws in virtually every aspect of life but we see that none of these are being implemented. In fairness I say that the responsibility for implementing these laws rests on the citizens down the hierarchy, even outside the Presidency. Flouting the laws on pension funds and stealing whopping sums of money from those funds were not done by the President or the Presidency; ordinary Nigerians did this! So as long as we point fingers of corruption against the President and Presidency we, the ordinary Nigerians, must point the remaining fingers at ourselves.

  • Awarawa

    Kudos to GEJ. I have been following this bill since a few years ago. Some months ago, GEJ held a session with Insurance experts in Nigeria where they worked together on how to make this work. That session gave all primary school students and retired military officers free medical care under the NHIS. University students are to pay N1,000.00 to participate in this health scheme.
    Yet, the janjaweed said GEJ is clueless. OBJ that the Yoruba think is wise achieved very little in 8years except for cornering our commonwealth for personal use…

  • G4

    It would have also been good if within the last 6yrs GEJ had worked with NASS to sign the PIB.