By Ifiok ITIABA|
As part of fulfilling one of its promises of giving the general public opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the passage of any bill into law, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly through it committee on Health is organizing a public hearing on health related bills pending before the Houses on Friday 3rd March 2017.
In a statement signed by the chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon Monday Eyo, stakeholders and the general public are invited to make their contributions inorder to enrich the bills.
He advised the general public to collect advance copies of the bills at the Uyo State Constituency Office, Assembly complex before the date of the public hearing.
It could be recalled that on January 2rd 2017, one of the bills, the “Primary Healthcare Development Agency bill” was read the second time.
The bill which is sponsored by the
Speaker of the House and member representing Nsit Ubium state constituency, Rt Hon Onofiok Luke, seeks the provision of universal health coverage for the people of the state and also help to strengthen service delivery to people at the grassroots, especially low income earners.
While urging his colleagues to support the passage of the bill into law during plenary, the Speaker said “there is need to strengthen primary healthcare service delivery in our state. People must have access to affordable healthcare services in line with the universal health coverage agenda.
“Most of our people are resident in the rural communities. We must therefore harness the potentials of the primary healthcare services in the state to create better access and quality of service.
“The agency will make primary healthcare services better delivered. There is need for the provision of infrastructure and personnel to help strengthen this primary healthcare provision. We cannot have universal health coverage without having a strengthened primary healthcare system.”
He noted that the powers of the proposed agency include to “review the existing health policies in collaboration with the ministry of health and adopt them with particular regards to their relevance in the development of primary healthcare and primary healthcare; promote and monitor the implementation of health plans at various levels of the state primary healthcare system;
“strengthen referrals and linkages with other branches of the health sector especially in the areas of maternal and child health, reproductive healthcare and other primary healthcare related areas with a view to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality”.
The Speaker said the bill is anchored on affordability and availability of qualitative medicare for people regardless of location and financial status.