Stakeholders in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are pushing for the strengthening of healthcare services in the territory.
The Secretary, FCT Health and Human Service Secretariat, Ms Amanda Pam, revealed this at an ongoing 5-day workshop for the key stakeholders on Bills to give legal teeth to the sector on Wednesday in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
She said they would review the laws establishing the FCT Primary healthcare Development Board and FCT Health Insurance Agency to make them more effective and deliver quality healthcare services to residents.
The scribe also revealed that the Act for the establishment of the FCT Primary Health Care Board, to institute the FCT Health Primary Care under one roof for all residents and other matters connected therewith 2018, would be reviewed by the stakeholders.
Pam, who was represented by Dr Mohammed Kawu, Director, Planning Research and Statistics of the secretariat, said that the aim of the workshop is to review the FCT Primary Health Care Bill and Health Insurance Bill in line with national guidelines and FCT peculiarities.
According to her, it will also develop and finalise draft bills which would be ready for submission to the National Assembly for passage into law for effective service delivery.
Pam explained that with legislation, the secretariat would enrol more people and have legal backing to ensure quality healthcare care service delivery.
The stakeholders concerned with improved healthcare service delivery were seen reviewing the statutes establishing the responsible agencies in the FCT.
The agencies are the FCT Primary Health Care Development Board and Health Service Scheme.
Pam said the stakeholders are undertaking the review with the support of USAID funded Health Policy Plus (HP+) project to strengthen the agencies toward providing more effective healthcare.
She said that the project would enhance the operations of the agencies with the initiation of legislation process of the Primary Healthcare Bill and FCT Health Insurance Bill.
Pam said: “So far, the secretariat has enrolled about 100,000 persons; the legislation will definitely transform the health of the people in the FCT.
“Both the FCT PHC Board and the Health Service Scheme have been in existence for almost a decade without appropriate legislative backing.
“As such FCT has identified the need to finalise legislation of the social insurance scheme and primary healthcare so as to improve its capacity of achieving its Universal Health Coverage goals, hence the need for this workshop,’’ she said.
She commended HP+ and USAID for providing traction to the health financing system in FCT.
Mr Onoriode Ezire, the Country Director of HP+, had earlier described the project as a catalyst for development, adding that HP+ had a track record of transforming the financing narrative of healthcare.
Ezire also said that the workshop was an additional building block to HP+ intervention in the FCT.
The Director, Legal Service Secretariat, FCT, Mr Timothy Majuk, expressed optimism that the workshop would achieve a quality bill for effective healthcare service delivery.
Majuk said that most bills legislated in the country lacks quality and depth.
The director appreciated the inclusion of legal draft in the process of draft initiation and advised other agencies and parastatals to learn from this approach.
The workshop brought together technocrats from Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Health Care Development Agency and National Health Insurance Scheme.
Other participants included the FCT Health and Human Service Secretariat, FCT Primary Health Care Development Board, traditional rulers and development partners. (NAN)