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Don urges FG to implement National Health Act

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By Patience Omoha-Longyen

Dr Uwakwe Abugu, a Lecturer at the University of Abuja, has urged the Federal Government to implement the National Health Act 2014 to regulate and manage healthcare system in the country.

Abugu made the plea on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

The don on Monday launched his book titled: “Practice and Principles of Medical Law and Ethics’’, where he emphasised the need for Nigerians to know their medical rights.

He advised government to implement issues relating to patients’ right in the National Health Act, especially in emergency cases.

According to him, the act has a provision for emergency treatment where Section 20 provides that no health facility shall deny any Nigerian of treatment in cases of emergency.

“Section 20 (1) states that a health care provider, health worker or health establishment shall not refuse a person emergency medical treatment for any reason whatsover.

“ What it means is that you don’t need any further assurances like deposit, police report and so on to treat emergency cases,’’ the don said.

According to him, the law has provided that medical doctors and hospitals must not deny patients treatment in case of emergency and any person who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence.

“Also, Section 11 (1) states that there is hereby created a Fund to be known as Basic Health Care Provision Fund

“The Basic Health Care Provision Fund shall be financed from Federal Government’s annual grant of not less than one per cent of its consolidated revenue fund,’’

“So the government need to ensure that they distribute the fund to both public and private hospitals for emergency cases,’’ Abugu said.

The don said that this was one step that the government must take and not just to make provisions in the law.

“You cannot hold somebody responsible for not giving emergency treatment to a patient when you have not made provision on how he will pay for the drugs and treatment,’’ Abugu said.

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