By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE national Council on Privatization, NCP, has approved a draft legislative instrument to enact the Health Sector Reform Bill and associated legislation.
The draft bill will be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council, FEC.
The approval was given on Tuesday at the meeting of the NCP presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting deliberated on power sector issues and comprehensive healthcare reforms.
The administration’s proposed reforms in the health sector would ensure that several millions of Nigerians, who can’t afford to pay for it, would begin to receive efficient healthcare services once the new system takes off.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Secretary of the NCP, and Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Alex Oko, said that council “took a major decision to adopt the report with the regards to the reform of the healthcare delivery system in the country.”
According to him, the Council deliberated on the report of the consultant and decided to continue engagements with various sectors and stakeholders with regards to the health sector reform.
Oko said: “What is very clear is the COVID-19 pandemic situation globally has revealed certain lapses and challenges as far as the healthcare delivery system in Nigeria is concerned and that council in its wisdom has started to consider a total review of the health sector about a year ago pre the advent of the COVID-19 crisis.
“So, the council took a decision the stake-holding engagement should continue especially since this reform promises a major universal coverage of healthcare delivery to the generality of Nigerians.
“What we are looking at essentially is a situation where the citizens of to country do not have to pay to receive quality healthcare because ailments and health issues are not what anybody will wish upon himself.
“So, we should not leave people to their fate once they have a health challenge.
“It is far-reaching and radical reforms and we hope with the continued engagements with all the stakeholders, we should be able to deliver this as a legacy reform programme of this current administration.”
Members of the NCP include several federal ministers, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, and the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises who is the Secretary of the Council.