Niger State government to establish private health regulatory agency

Abdul Mohammed Isa, Niger State

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Niger State Government in North Central Nigeria, has planned to establish a Private Health care Regulatry Agency, as part of the measures to ensure best practices in the health sector.

The Governor of the state Abubakar Sani Bello Sani stated this when he received the report of the committee on the increased death cases in private hospitals in Minna the state Capital on Thursday.

The Governor in a statement by his spokesperson Mary Noel Berje, said most private clinics were not up to standard to be in operation as such their activities need to be regulated by the Agency.

“I will saddle this committee to work with the SSG’s office and the Ministry of Health to come up with terms of reference and responsibilities of the Agency, including giving permits for private clinics to be established after meeting the minimum requirements,” he said.

The Niger State Governor who further mentioned that window that allows for medical doctors to practice both at private and public hospitals have affected the performance and efficiency of government hospitals, added that when established, the Agency will go around all private clinics in the state and register the ones that meet the minimum requirements as there were many mushroom clinics across the state whose activities lead to complications and deaths of patients.

“It was unethical for doctors in the public sector to divert patients to their private clinics for monetary gains or move equipment from government hospitals to their private-owned clinics.

“There should be a maximum penalty for abusers, it has to do with people’s lives.”

Chairman of the committee, Dr Haruna Aliyu , said parts of the committees recommendations includes, strict compliance with registration requirements and scope of service, punishment for violators, adherence to structural standards by private clinics, enforcement of the professional code of ethics and effective monitoring by relevant organisations and government agencies.

Dr Haruna who added that the committee has also recommended that government should provide subsidy for some of the needs of the private hospitals in order to minimize avoidable death and permanent disability in the private health establishment, mentioned that government should establish an agency to be saddled with the responsibility of registration, licence, inspection, supervision and monitoring of private health facilities.

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