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NMA urges FG to implement National Health Act

by Muhammad Sani

By Asma’u Ahmad

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has called for then implementation of the National Health Act (NHA) to deepen healthcare delivery in the country.

The Plateau chapter Chairman of NMA, Dr. Pokop Bupwatda, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Jos, Plateau state.

Dr. Bupwatda, who is a Consultant Public Health Physician, at Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) advised the Federal Government to honour the law.

He noted that the law was yet to be executed after former president Goodluck Jonathan had signed the Act.

The chairman revealed that there was a basic health provision fund meant for Nigerians’ health needs which can only be accessed through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

“Only few Nigerians who work with the federal government and in the private sector are currently enjoying it,” he said.

According to him, when the Act is implemented it will serve for people’s health insurance pay premium and lessen pay while seeking hospital medical attention.

He said: “More persons would have access to the NHIS and we would have communities going into community based insurance scheme when the Act is implemented. People pay the premium and subsequently when they go to the hospitals to access services under the NHIS they pay only 10 per cent of the actual cost.

“Currently most Nigerians spend out of the pocket expenses to access healthcare services, and this is actually responsible for most patients having complications. In a bid to save cost, many indulge in self-medication, it is when the ailment is at an advanced stage that they go to the hospital.”

He also said that the non-implementation of the Act is responsible for the non-competitiveness in the health sector, adding that the implementation of the law would aid competition as most government hospitals would improve on their service delivery.

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