Bill to make free healthcare for children mandatory adopted by House of Reps

A bill seeking mandatory and free healthcare service for all Nigerian children scaled through second reading on Tuesday, Nov. 16, in the House of Representatives.

The bill titled “Bill for an Act to make Health Care Service Delivery Free for all Children in Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB. 1504)” is sponsored by Hon. Bello Kaoje (APC, Kebbi).

Kaoje who led the debate on the general principle of the bill at plenary said it was first introduced in July this year.

The lawmaker said that with the Federal Government healthcare initiative, Save One Million Lives (SOML), it is therefore pertinent to make medical services free for children in Nigeria, essentially because of the risks they face.

Opposition was however mounted against the bill when the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, in his contribution said that the objective of the bill had already been provided for by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) in all healthcare centres in rural communities to which the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila sought to know if the services were really free.

In his remarks, Speaker Gbajabiamila noted the concerns raised. He said that the bill, if passed into law, will give the needed push to all related laws.

The Bill was eventually adopted after getting favorable majority support and referred to the House committee on healthcare services for further legislative action.

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