By Kingsley Okoye
The Senate on Monday urged various health professionals and labour unions to work harmoniously for the good of the nation’s health sector.
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmed Lawan, made the call while declaring open a one-day public hearing on five bills for the health sector.
The public hearing was organised by the Senate Committee on Health to enrich the bills via inputs from stakeholders in the health sector.
The bills are: Advance Health Care Development Fund Establishment 2020, Federal Tertiary Teaching Hospitals Development Tax Fund Establishment Bill, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria repeal and re-enactment Bill 2020.
Others are: Federal University of Health Services, Otukpo, Benue State Establishment Bill and National Maternal and Perinatal Deaths Surveillance Establishment Bill 2020.
Lawan, represented by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger) said the various industrial disputes among health professionals were not healthy for the development of the sector.
Lawan said the five bills slated for public hearing were crucial not just for the present but for future generations of Nigerians.
He said the bills had passed second reading at plenary and already referred to the Committee on Health for further legislative inputs.
He added that they were significant for development and sustenance of the nation’s health management infrastructure.
Lawan said the bill on National Maternal and Perinatal Deaths Surveillance was designed to limit avoidable deaths among Nigerians.
He said the public hearing would further provide an opportunity for the committee to hear from stakeholders and make their inputs.
He urged participants to be open-minded, saying that such would assist in the development of the committee’s final report.
He said “The enrichment process is often a basis for good bill, for this reason, we should not just provide information from our respective positions but should ensure the information we are providing is well thought out.”
Chairman of the Committee , Sen.Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC Kwara) said the National Assembly would continue to enact laws that would meet demands of the citizenry.
He said decisive actions also would be needed to curtail the manifestation of new diseases and complications like that of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the bills for consideration are structured into parts and sections, urging participants to limit their observations and contributions only to sections or clauses of the bills.
He also urged them to useful presentations to the committee on the necessity of the proposed laws.
NAN reports that high points the public hearing were the submission and presentations of Memoranda by various stakeholders in the health sector. (NAN)