Health

Lawmakers set agenda for achievement of Universal Health Coverage

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The three-day Health Summit, organised by the National Assembly, ended on Friday with lawmakers setting out milestones to be met in order to attain the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.

Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, who presented a four-year Strategic Framework Legislative Health Agenda (LHA), and a 2020 Activity Work plan for the achievement of UHC in the country, said the legislature would among other things ensure passage of an amended law on health insurance.

Olroriegbe said lawmakers would also ensure increase in budgetary allocations to the health sector.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the summit’s theme is “Efficiency in the Health Sector and the Role of Legislators”.

Oloriegbe, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, said that the agenda was to explore ways the legislators could apply their functions in achieving the set goals.

He said the legislators had identified some critical issues affecting the achievement of UHC in the country such as the absence of a health agenda to guide legislative actions towards achieving Universal Health Coverage across the country, among others.

The chairman said that in view of this, the summit resolved to ensure finalisation and implementation of legislative health agenda at national and state levels towards achieving UHC.

He said they also resolved to ensure collaboration between governments, the private sector, development partners, and civil society organisations, towards ensuring that every Nigerian accessed a full-range of health services at all levels.

Oloriegbe noted that the summit also recommended that government should ensure that all financial risks associated with seeking health care were mitigated.

He said that in order to achieve these targets, the summit suggested that the National Assembly should amend relevant sections of the National Health Act and ensure speedy review, passage and assent to the National Health Insurance Commission Bill.

According him, the summit also called for speedy passage of State Health Insurance (SHIS) Bills in states without a health insurance scheme.

Speaking of on the role of the legislative arm, Oloriegbe said that the National Assembly would ensure full implementation of legislative health agenda at national and state levels.

“Ensuring revision of the present Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), guidelines to be in consonance with the Act and providing oversight of operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

“Providing oversight to operators of tertiary health institutions and ensuring the BHCPF guidelines reflect the provisions of the Act.

“Monitoring and evaluating implementation and impact of BHCPF; ensuring that government and the private sector are accountable,” he said.

On appropriation, the lawmaker said they would ensure an increased allocation to the BHCPF, and work towards increasing overall Health Budget.

Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

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