A bill for an act to establish the Nigeria Health Infrastructure Development Bank (NHIDB), has scaled second reading at the House Plenary session on Tuesday.
After the presentation of the Bill during House Plenary today, Rep. Manu Sorro, moved the motion for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Nnam Obi. The push for the enactment of a law to establish the Bill via a unanimous vote on Tuesday is an avid step towards putting things in the right order in the healthcare sector.
According to the presentation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and Rep. Mansur Sorro, the Act when finally legislated would enhance and promote the health and wellbeing of Nigerians to boost Local Healthcare Capacity and for Related Matters (HB. 908).
Why the NHIDB Bill
It has become a matter of urgency that the budgetary provisions from the government cannot sufficiently ensure the required upliftment needed in the health sector.
The lack of quality health infrastructures and policies in the healthcare industry has led to an increase in the medical tourism of Nigerians, as well as the increase in brain drain in the health sector, as Nigerians and Nigerian doctors seek better avenues for quality healthcare and highly rewarding medical practice respectively.
Nigeria, despite having the potentials to own the largest healthcare market in Africa, lacks an adequate supply of quality secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities, with the available quality beds in the nation substantially lower than the population of over 200 million people.
It is in response to this latent situation, that the Lawmakers moved to facilitate the passage of the Bill which would see to the establishment of the Nigeria Health Infrastructure Development Bank.
What they are saying
Rep. Manu Sorro stated that:
- “The Bill seeks to ensure the provision of quality, efficient and affordable healthcare services for Nigerians. He said that the House aims to ensure a qualitative healthcare system for Nigerians, as the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the weak healthcare structure of the nation.”
Speaking on the development, Gbajabiamila said that he was fascinated with the idea of a “Health Bank” and that the House will expedite action on its passage.
- “We cannot talk of nation’s building without good healthcare system. We will keep pushing for any bill that will make our healthcare system functional, and we will work with NMA to achieve that.”
Why it matters
This Bank will help to finance the development of a hospital and referral clinics in Nigeria, with a key focus on healthcare infrastructure in the nation.
It will also help the Nigerian government to develop human capital through improved service delivery in the healthcare system, and provide a full spectrum of high-quality general and specialist healthcare services at competitive prices.
This is expected to have positive economic and social benefits for the country, as it will significantly improve healthcare services by offering quality general medical services in addition to specialty services.
The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading, and referred to the House Committee on Health Institutions.