By CHIOMA OBINNA
The Association of Radiographers of Nigeria, (ARN) Lagos State Branch, has picked holes in the constitution of the National Health Bill and appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan not to append his signature on it until all the grey areas are amicably resolved and corrected with the input of interest groups.
Chairman of the Branch, Mr. Fatare Bakare told Good Health Weekly in an interview that the Bill would have been a good platform for better health care delivery if only it reflected the wishes and aspirations of all health professionals and non professionals alike in the overall interest of qualitative health services for Nigerians.
His words: “President Goodluck Jonathan must not assent to the Bill until the grey areas are corrected by all stakeholders if we truly have sincere interest of Nigeria. Any attempt to do otherwise will further aggravate the already tense situation in the health industry and lead to more chaos.”
Noting that a section of the Bill reflects greed and infringes on the existing role of different professional bodies, Bakare said the section in question touched on the national health system, which shall define and provide a framework for standards and regulation of health services.
The provision, he stated, had already disdained and prejudiced various relevant existing professional regulatory statues in the sector.
Quoting part of the Bill which set out the rights and duties of health care providers, health workers, health establishments and users, he said sub-section Section 2 (1) (1) of the Bill is not only ambiguous and irrelevant, but in conflict with existing laws that established the National Council on Establishment, whose functions and powers are by law to prescribe duties and responsibilities for all cadres of workers in the public service through their various schemes of service.
“The Health Bill must be returned to the National Assembly for corrections of those clauses that are capable of causing chaos and disharmony,” he argued.