The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, in Zamfara has called on the State Government to implement the National Health Act 2014.
Mannir Tsafe, the Secretary of the association in the state, made the demand in Gusau in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday.
Mr. Tsafe commended the efforts of the NMA national secretariat for engaging the Federal Government over similar demands to boost the health sector.
He said that the decision by the association to call on the President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of all the 36 states in the country to immediately start implementation of the Act was timely.
The scribe said the Act had been passed into law by the National Assembly two years ago but had not been implemented despite its importance to healthcare delivery, especially to the people at the grassroots.
“It is our major concern in NMA to ensure that government commences implementation of this Act.
“Considering its advantages to Nigerian health sector, especially the way it would ensure specific provisions of basic healthcare fund which is the first line charge on the consolidated revenue of the Federal Government.
“You know this Act has been passed into law by the National Assembly since 2014, but up till now it has not been implemented by the government,” he said.
According to him, the Act will address the various challenges facing the health sector in the country, especially at the grassroots, if it is fully implemented.
He further said that it was one of the major issues discussed at the 2016 Physicians Week.
Mr. Tsafe called on the state government to increase its commitment towards improving healthcare service delivery.
He expressed concern over the state of healthcare centres in the state, particularly in the rural areas.
“If we look at the current situation of our primary and secondary healthcare centres in this state, which are all owned by state government, things are decaying.
“Most do not have the capacity to operate as healthcare centres; they cannot take care of simple health cases due to inadequate health personnel, poor infrastructure and lack of adequate funding.
“So also poor implementation of budget allocation to the health sector and these are all responsibilities of the state government.
“Provision of effective healthcare delivery is one of the people’s major needs, therefore, government should accord it more priority,” he said.
The scribe said that one of association’s responsibilities was to draw government’s attention to any issue that affected healthcare services.
Besides, he appealed to all stakeholders in healthcare delivery in the state to redouble their efforts and support government towards promoting the health sector.
Mr. Tsafe commended international donor agencies for supporting healthcare delivery in the state.
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