During the opening of the 44th/45th Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM), of the West African College of Physicians (WACP), Nigeria Chapter in Abuja, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said NASS is considering funding for gunshot victims.
Gbajabiamila, who was represented by Hon. Tanko Sununu, the Chairman, House Committee on Health, said that the house is working toward amending the National Health Act to address gaps in accessing healthcare, including funding for gunshot victims.
The Speaker further said, in the amended act, provisions were made for healthcare service providers to claim funds used to treat gunshot victims during emergencies and consideration was important as increasing cases of ‘no payment, no service’ for victims of gunshot wounds posed serious concern.
“In the next days to come, we will consider the amendment of 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.
“In the amended Health Act, we tried to proffer solutions where practitioners can claim the bills for services rendered to a gunshot victim. This will allow victims to access emergency healthcare promptly.”
“We are also trying to address issues affecting the health sector by making healthcare through the health insurance scheme mandatory in the country.
“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.”