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Implement National Health Act, Oyo NMA calls on FG

The Oyo State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has called on the Federal Government to implement the National Health Act passed into law since 2014, saying it was central to relieving health challenges Nigerians now face due to the ongoing economic recession.

The association said the “economy is biting harder and the more reason the act should be implemented because with hunger and reduction in immunity, many people are getting sick than we think about.”

Chairman of the Oyo NMA, Dr Mojisola Atalabi-Oladele, speaking during a press conference on Wednesday, in Ibadan, stated that the implementation of the National Health Act was the way forward to minimising problems of healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

Atalabi-Oladele stated that the economic recession was biting Nigerians harder, as according to him, more Nigerians are unable to buy prescribed drugs and are therefore becoming sick.

According to her, just as the Federal Government implemented laudable programmes like Bank Verification Number (BVN) and Treasury Single Account (TSA), which she said are yielding positve result, the National Health Act should also be implemented.

“We believe that good healthcare system has a direct effect on the citizens of Nigeria and therefore, it will be laudable achievement for the government once it is implemented.

“ The excitement about the new Act will not be complete unless frantic efforts are made towards its full implementation, leading to the commencement of an entirely different healthcare system, different from the present one riddled with inconsistencies, unaccountability and palpable anarchy.”

Atalabi-Oladele, while noting that implementation of the Act would ensure peace and progress in the healthcare centres as well as checkmate medical tourism, declared that “our hope is that with proper operation of the act by the government, the national health system will be more effective.”

She added that the benefits of the National Health Act were many, saying “for instance, it states that nobody under emergency should be denied access to treatment. It is even a crime if you do not give somebody treatment in an emergency situation, such a person is liable to a fine or imprisonment.”