Kaduna State to domesticate 2014 National Health Act
As it upgrade four secondary health facilities, sets up structures in 255 PHC
By Akon Eddy, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government is upgrading four of its secondary health facilities to standard general hospitals as well as setting up Agency and structures in the 255 Primary Health care Centres in each political Wards of the State.
The development was to create soft landing for the domestication of the 2014 National Health Act (NHAct), which was passed and signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan on October 31, 2014.
Commissioner for Health in the State, Prof. Andrew Nok made this known at a sensitization and round table discussion with major stakeholders in Kaduna State on key primary health care reform initiatives on Friday in Kaduna.
Briefing newsmen, Prof. Nok said the meeting is meant to sensitize the State in regards to the recent bill passed into law by Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i.
“The bill has to do with Primary Health Care under one roof. The bill has been signed since September 1, 2015. All other things to get the aspect of the law activated such as setting up an Agency and structures in the 255 Primary Health Care Centres in each political Wards of the State.
“The state Ministry of health is in the process of trying to get these primary health centres implemented in its budget too to ensure that they meet the standard as enshrine by the health sector. This is to see that some of the very minimum health care systems are being delivered within the range of 4 kilometers levels of political wards in the State
“We want to upgrade four of the secondary health facilities to standard general hospitals that will be able to offer services like city scan, very sophisticated operations, and X-ray machines in all of them. Of recent we’re able to send eight Dialysis machines to some of the four hospitals. Today, one would need up to N200,000 a month to run a dialysis, but the contributions expected from patients is less than N20,000 in a month, others are being subsidized by the government.
“The four hospitals include: General Hospital, Kafanchan; Gambo Sawaba Hospital, Zaria; Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital, Tudun Wada and also Gwamna Awan Hospital.
“I got excited seeing part of the National Health Act as it says, especially dealing with the Universal Health Coverage and the community based insurance. The office of His Excellency has been inundated in the recent past week. Lots of requests from people who want to take medical treatment abroad.
“I’m saying this because we get different kinds of requests from people coming to the Ministry and the Governor; saying ‘this treatment cannot be done here, we have to go abroad to get it done.’ Some of these cases are likely to be ordinary operations that can be done within the shores of this country.
“So, now that we know this exist, we’re going to revisit some of these requests to ensure that we have a small committee of experts that will be able to view and review to ensure that if it cannot pass the stage of getting it worked out in Nigeria, then the committee within 24hrs will make recommendation to the Governor,” Prof Nok said.
Chairman House Committee on Health, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Isaac Auta Zankhai, said the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), Kaduna State Chapter have been working seriously to make sure that most of things required and expected to be done in the health care system in the state are done.
“We intend to boost health care policy in the State by quickly passing all that is needed to ensure that health care is improved in Kaduna State. We’ll equally go further to make sure that we take what is expected of the State House of Assembly very seriously, especially in terms of over sight functions. To make sure that people funds are used judiciously and dividends get to the people.
“The National Health Act is an act now as it has been passed at the national level and we’re waiting for the ascension just what is expected, the gazettes. And once this is done, it is the same thing we expect to have at the state level, and part of the process of domesticating the National Health Act in Kaduna State is the sensitization and roundtable discussion we’ve just had.
“Kaduna State is now informed that there is an act and the benefits of domesticating it in the state. The state is interested in domesticating the act in view of the benefits that it’s going to bring into the health system. By domesticating the act is looking into it, dust it, remove some other aspect that may not be relevant to the state and add some other things that will be relevant to the state,” Zankhai said.