Amendment Of National Health Act Will Guarantee Treatment For Gunshot Victims-Gbajabiamila

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has disclosed plans to amend the National Health Act to address the concerns of accessing health care for gunshot victims.

THE WHISTLER had reported how a Nigerian music producer, Ebenezer Ayeni died from gunshot wounds hours after two hospitals refused to treat him in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Ayeni, who was making plans for his wedding, was attacked by armed robbers who invaded his home early on Friday, June 11, 2021.

He was said to have been rushed to the University College Hospital Ibadan and another private hospital(J-rapha Hospital) but was rejected as the hospital management allegedly demanded for police report before they could treat his gunshot injury, a longstanding practice that is now illegal.

The diseased was also rushed to J-Rapha Hospital, but the private hospital similarly demanded a police report before offering emergency treatment.

However, the Speaker, who was represented by the House Committee on Health, Tanko Sununu, at the 44th/45th Annual General and Scientific Meeting of the West African College of Physicians, held in Abuja, said that efforts are ongoing to amend the National Health Act which provides the basic framework upon which healthcare in the country is developed.

“The House of Representatives is waiting for concurrence from the executive arm of government on the issue of emergency treatment for gunshot victims. We have tried to address the issue of gunshot injuries in the amended Health Act.

“In the previous Act, there was a gap on how this type of emergency should be addressed when presented at the hospital. The source of payment and services rendered to gunshot victims has become a worrisome issue.”

According to him, the amended Health Act would proffer solutions where practitioners can claim the bills for services rendered to a gunshot victim.
“This will allow victims to access emergency healthcare promptly,” he said.

Speaking further, Sununu said that as a means of deepening access to health care service, the House is also working towards making health insurance scheme mandatory for everyone.

He added that NASS is working toward addressing the challenges in the sector by providing effective legislation, oversight, and representation.

“The National Assembly passed the bill already and we are hoping that the executive arm assent to the bill so that every Nigerian will have a basic minimum package that he or she can use to sustain health.

“The Basic Healthcare Provision Fund will not only come with a minimum package but will also improve the health sector’s readiness to address emergencies.

“We are also considering the Infectious Diseases Control Bill which tries to provide for emergency preparedness in the country,” he said.

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