Dogara decries high rate of foreign medical trips by Nigerians

seeks overhaul of Health sector

THE Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara on Wednesday decried the high rate of foreign medical trips by Nigerians just as he called for the total overhaul of the nation’s health sector for greater efficiency.

Hon Dogara made the observation in Abuja yesterday while speaking at a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Health for stakeholders on Two Health-related Bills before the House.

The two bills under consideration are a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Health Records Officers (Registration, etc) Act, CAP. H2 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Re-enact the Health Information Practitioners Council of Nigeria for effective and efficient Health Information Management, to Regulate the Training, Practice and Management of Health Information System in Nigeria and a Bill for an Act to Amend the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria Act, CAP 1.112, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, to Provide for the Role of the Chemist, the Regulation of Practicing Fees by Members of the Institute; and for Other Related Matters.

The Speaker also described as worrisome the attendant brain drain in the health sector and suggested a quick intervention to guarantee efficient and effective service delivery.

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According to him, ” the ultimate aim of these Legislations is to ensure that we have a more efficient service delivery in the health sector.

” There is a compelling need for us to overhaul our health sector in view of the continuous public outcry against our defective healthcare delivery.

The high number of Nigerians who go on foreign medical trips and the brain drain that we witness among our professionals in the sector are indications that our health sector requires a serious surgical operation.

“On our part, the National Assembly will always use its powers to legislate for the betterment of our health sector as a matter of priority.

“In this digital age, there will always need to update our Laws to meet with the contemporary global best practices, and the National Assembly will continue to be responsive in that regard.”

He further explained that both bills were aimed at improving the practice of their professions by two important professionals in the Healthcare system.

According to him, “the first Bill, which deals with healthcare data management by Health Information Practitioners, seeks to repeal an outdated Act and to enact a new one.

” This is to enhance an effective and efficient Health Information Practice in the country. Without any doubt, efficient Healthcare Data Management will help us to improve research, policy-making and policy decisions in our healthcare.

“The second Bill, which seeks to amend the Institute of Chartered Chemist Act, is also to ensure proper regulation of the Profession by its Council. I wish to note that a properly regulated profession will lead to greater motivation, continuous training, closer peer interaction and better performance by the practitioners.”