Abuja — The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and other stakeholders, on Tuesday, expressed its appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan for giving his assent to the much-expected National Health Bill, which had earlier been approved by the National Assembly.

In a statement by PSN, signed by its President, Olumide Akintayo, it said: “the harmonised version of the National Health Bill signifies the first time the borders of restriction in healthcare was opened as major Health Professional Associations and Trade Unions are represented in key structures of the new Health Act”.

In commending the President, the pharmacists expressed some reservations, saying, “It is hoped that this seeming progressive document was not doctored after the harmonised version was passed at National Assembly”.

Meanwhile, National Coordinator of While Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, Tonte Ibraye, on Tuesday, advised the Federal Government to immediately inaugurate a committee that will be saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of the Act.

According to him: “It is a welcome development for the President to sign the Health Bill into law. This is a document that we have been fighting for its approval over the years.

“There is still a lot of work ahead to be done. There should be a clear implementation committee. The president should set up a committee to look at the modality of its implementation and possible challenges that may arise from.

On his part, Vice President of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Felix Faniran, in an interview with Daily Independent, said the President deserves to be strongly commended for signing that bill into law.

In his own reaction, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Musa, said the Act, if properly implemented, would ensure proper coordination and networking in terms of health services.”

“This will also help Nigeria to be more responsible on the allocation of resources to the sector.”

On his own part, the immediate past President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Osahon Enabulele, called for the involvement of all stakeholders in the implementation of the Act.

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