The Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has decried the high rate of foreign medical trips by Nigerians, even as he called for total overhaul of the health sector to engender efficiency.
Dogara, who made the call yesterday while speaking at a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Health at the National Assembly, said the trend has reached a worrisome dimension, especially considering the attendant brain drain in the heath sector.
He said there is need for a quick intervention to guarantee efficient and effective service delivery in the health sector.
According to Dogara, “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 be 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 said both bills were aimed at improving the practice of their professions by two important professionals in the healthcare system.
“The first Bill, which deals with healthcare data management by Health Information Practitioners, seeks to repeal an outdated Act and to enact a new one.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”, the Speaker further explained.