Enugu: The Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Chief Edward Ubosi, has assured residents of the speedy passage of proposed Enugu State Public Health Securities Bill anytime the final draft of the bill would be ready.
Ubosi, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Chief Uchenna Ugwu, gave the assurance in Enugu on Friday at a two-day Retreat on the Importance of the Proposed Enugu State Public Health Securities.
The retreat is being organised by the Enugu State House of Assembly in collaboration with African Centre for Entrepreneurship and Information to Development (ACEIDEV) and Resolve to Save Lives.
He said that the retreat to address the proposed Enugu State Public Health Securities Bill was coming at a timely time.
The speaker said that the bill would solve lots of teething health issues in the state, especially legal issues in administration of public health securities and public health emergencies meant for the safety of the residents.
“It is a very good one and it will benefit all stakeholders in the health sector.
“It will help the state and her residents to easily tackle public health emergencies for all over public good,” he said.
Ubosi, however, said that when the draft of the document (bill) is out, probably as an Executive Bill; it would be given the accelerated hearing and attention on the floor of the house.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Chief Sam Ngene, said that at the end of the retreat, the committee members must have been fit as well as be able to do justice to the proposed bill.
According to him, this retreat will give each member the leverage to understand and key into the need for the bill and once it is presented to the house it will go through smoothly and timely.
“The bill will take care of all public health emergency situations that might arise as well as related issues.
“I must thank our partners – ACEIDEV and Resolve to Save Lives – for their technical support meant to help us come out with a bill that will last the test of time and truly serve our people,” he said.
The chairman, however, revealed that during the COVID-19 in the state; the state was prepared in terms of manpower, medical provisions and logistics but “the state lacked the legal framework to act on public health emergencies”.
In an address, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, said that the proposed bill, when passed and signed into law, would help to fill the loopholes in the existing public health laws in the state.
Obi, who was represented by the state Director of Public Health, Dr Boniface Okolo, said that the proposed bill would allow health professionals and authorities to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently for public good.
“The bill will put everybody on the same page; especially on how to carry out public health emergencies during unannounced health emergencies such as COVID-19 and other eventual disease outbreaks,” he said.
The Executive Director of ACEIDEV, Mr James Ugochukwu, said that the proposed bill would help to strengthen the process as well as the power of the state to take charge of emergency public health securities and situations.
According to Ugochukwu, it will help to regulate all responses to public health securities and situations in the state.
“It will give health experts and authorities the will-power to act on public health situations on behalf of the government and to the overall benefit of the people.
“It will deal holistically on all issues concerning the legal framework for the government to respond appropriately to public health emergencies in the interest of the public,” he added.