Several reports from Abuja today indicate that the Senate has given final approval to the National Health Bill that had languished for 2 years after initial passage by both chambers of the National Assembly.
The billed passed more than 6 months after a deadline given by President Goodluck Jonathan, as the ANPA Blog was told by the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu.
The websites of nearly all Nigerian newspapers are leading with this apparently important development, and the reports are filled with all the parliamentary intrigues that caused the long delay and then the dramatic passage following a protest by market women.
No one, however, appears to know what is in the bill. Does it provide for free health care to the teeming masses? Will there finally be decent maternal and child care for the average family? With it establish a basic trauma and emergency care system befitting a country with so much wealth? Will our general and teaching hospitals receive adequate funding? Will doctors be better trained?
We will report the provisions of the new bill when we find out.