Late last night, we got information from a very reliable source that President Goodluck Jonathan had signed the National Health Bill into law. This morning, presidential spokesman Dr Reuben Abati confirmed this on Twitter. This is a fantastic end of year present to Nigeria, given that the bill was running the risk of expiry for the second time, having made its way through both Houses of Assembly twice. The “National Health Bill” is now the Act to provide ‘A Framework for the Regulation, Development and Management of a National Health System and set Standards for Rendering Health Services in the Federation, and Other Matters Connected there with, 2014’, We told the tale of the bill’s history in a blog post a few weeks ago, and our friends at Education as a Vaccine wrote this petition, which outlines some of the benefits of the Bill.
At Nigeria Health Watch, we believe in celebrating the positive as well as holding people and institutions accountable on the negative, so we say, kudos to President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the bill and to the legislators and many people and organizations in the health sector who have worked so hard to make this happen, especially the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria. Implementation will be the next hurdle, but for now, let us pause and acknowledge and celebrate this moment.
Find a copy of the National Health Bill on our website here.