Gov. Sani Bello orders immediate establishment of Niger State Private Health Regulation Agency

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Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello.

Gov. Sani Bello orders immediate establishment of Niger State Private Health Regulation Agency

As measures to ensure best practices in the health sector, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has directed the immediate establishment of the Niger State Private Health Regulation Agency.

This was contained in a statement signed by Mary Noel-Berje, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Niger State.

Governor Sani Bello gave the directive when he received the report of the committee on the increased death cases in private hospitals at the Government House, Minna.

The Governor said that most private clinics were not up to standard to be in operation as such their activities need to be regulated by the Agency.

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He said: “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.

“That window that allows for medical doctors to practice both at private and public hospitals has affected the performance and efficiency of government hospitals”.

The Governor 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.

According to him, 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.

Governor Bello who stated that violators of the regulations should not be spared said: “There should be a maximum penalty for abusers, I am saying maximum because it has to do with people’s lives”.

In the meantime, he said that the SSG will soon announce the white-paper committee.

Chairman of the committee, Dr Haruna Aliyu said that the committee diligently carried out its assignment since it was set up in April 2020.

Dr Aliyu said that after its findings, the committee gave some recommendations including; 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.

He said the committee also recommended that government should provide subsidies for some of the needs of the private hospitals.

“To minimize avoidable death and permanent disability in the private health establishment, the government should establish an agency to be saddled with the responsibility of registration, licence, inspection, supervision and monitoring of private health facilities”, he said.