The Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, NUAHP, has called on the Federal Government to convene a forum for stakeholders in the health sector to enable them have adequate knowledge on the National Health Act. The association also suggested that such a forum could help in resolving some of the fundamental challenges affecting the sector. NUAHP made the call recently through its President, Felix Faniran, at a press briefing at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Oyo state.
The group commended President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the National Health Bill, which culminated in the Act. “The National Health Act which was recently signed by Mr. President is highly welcome, as it makes very robust and good provision for strengthening of primary health care services in the country, provides for the inclusion of other healthcare professionals in the composition of several committees, ensures easy access to medical care by greater number of Nigerians, especially those needing emergency medical services.
“The Act also provides opportunities for Nigerians in challenging their leaders through judicial process concerning their rights to health care services and many more opportunities.“We will however like to strongly advise that the Honourable Minister of Health summon urgently a stakeholders’ forum on health to discuss the various provisions on the National Health Act and other issues affecting the health sector with a view of addressing contentious issues that currently beset the sector,” the association urged.
NUAHP however picked hole in the Act. It said it observed that throughout the ‘length’ and ‘breadth’ of the National Health Act, there was no mention of the existing registered trade unions nor recognizing their roles in the health care services. It urged that the alleged omission be corrected as soon as possible.
“Similarly, the Act did not also provide for composition of Federal Ministry of Health despite our strong position on the matter. We therefore recommend that Federal Ministry of Health should be composed of various directorates that will reflect the various healthcare professional groups in the health sector,” the workers stressed.