Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Engr) Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, has urged members of the Nigerian Medical Association to tackle the challenge of quackery in the medical profession and ensure that hospitals that promote quackery are appropriately sanctioned.
The Speaker was speaking in Umuahia on Friday while declaring open the 2019 Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Abia State Branch, which held at the Villa Roy Hotels with the theme “State’s Health Legislation: Role in Effective Healthcare Delivery”. He wondered why the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria could be sanctioning its members by closing up unqualified pharmacies whereas the Nigerian Medical Association would not do so.
The Speaker who was represented at the occasion by the Member representing Umuahia South State Constituency at the Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. (Barr.) Jerry Uzosike, encouraged Abians to take their health very seriously. He informed that the Abia State House of Assembly is not witch hunting anybody or institution as it is only carrying out its oversight functions, adding that posterity would not be kind to the House members if they fail to exercise their oversight functions.
He further disclosed that just this year, the Abia State House of Assembly has passed into Law “The Abia State Primary Healthcare Law no 2 of 2019” and that the 7th House is not resting on its oars as it has continued to make laws for the betterment of the people. He stressed the need for enough information to be provided for rural dwellers to build confidence in the primary healthcare delivery system in Abia State.
The Speaker said the 7th Abia State House of Assembly as part of its oversight functions wants to know exactly what is happening at the Abia State Primary Health Centres, hence, the recent setting up of three ad hoc committees on health alone. He said that as an integral part of the State government, when the committees are done, government would tackle the issue of salaries of doctors in the State.
The Speaker, who was the Guest of Honour at the occasion, promised to provide the legislative environment that would boost efficient delivery of members of the Nigerian Medical Association and congratulated the body for organizing the event with such a carefully chosen theme.
In her Address, the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Abia State Chapter, Dr (Mrs) Iwuoha E.C, called on each Honourable Member of the Abia State House of Assembly to prioritize healthcare in their respective constituencies and go further by taking responsibility for at least one Primary Healthcare Centre within their localities with a view to making them model centres.
She appreciated the Speaker for hitting the ground running soon after his emergence as the Speaker of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly.
The Chairman said the NMA is committed to enhancing healthcare delivery in the State, assuring that the body would contribute to building capacity of its manpower in the facilities across the State. According to her, the conference offers an opportunity for doctors who are frontline providers of healthcare to have health check, in line with their new Hippocratic Oath which emphasizes the need for the physician to be healthy to enable him handle the sick effectively.
Various speakers at the conference sought for mandatory legislation on Compulsory Health Insurance Scheme in Abia State and other related issues.
The Chairman of the Abia State House of Assembly Committee on Health, Hon Stanley Nwabuisi, was part of the Speaker’s entourage to the occasion.
Promise Uzoma Okoro,Special Assistant Media to the Rt. Hon.Speaker.