The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara on Wednesday, decried the high rate of foreign medical trips by Nigerians.
Dogara, who spoke at a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Health at the National Assembly also described as worrisome, the attendant brain drain in the nation’s health sector.
He, therefore, called for total overhauling of the health sector to engender efficiency and suggested a quick intervention to guarantee efficient and effective service delivery.
He said: “There is a compelling need for us to overhaul our health sector in view of the continuous public outcry against our defective healthcare delivery.
“The high number of Nigerians who go on foreign medical trips and the brain drain that we witness among our professionals in the sector are indications that the sector requires a serious surgical operation.’’
The speaker said on the part of the legislature, the lawmakers would be committed to using their powers to legislate for the good of the sector.
He said: “In this digital age, there will always be need to update our laws to meet with the contemporary global best practices, and NASS will continue to be responsive in that regard.”
He said that the bills under consideration were aimed at improving professional practices of two important fields in the nation’s healthcare system.
Dogara said: “The first bill, which deals with healthcare data management by health information practitioners, seeks to repeal an outdated Act and to enact a new one.
“This is to enhance an effective and efficient health information practice in the country.
“Without any doubt, efficient healthcare data management will help us to improve research, policy making and policy decisions in our healthcare.
“The second bill, which seeks to amend the Institute of Chartered Chemist Act, is also to ensure proper regulation of the profession by its council.
“I wish to note that a properly regulated profession will lead to greater motivation, continuous training, closer peer interaction and better performance by the practitioners.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the other bill under consideration is a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Health Records Officers (Registration, etc.) Act, CAP. H2 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
It is aimed at re-enacting the Health Information Practitioners Council of Nigeria for effective and efficient health information management and to regulate the training, practice and management of health information system in Nigeria.