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…As Onofiok Luke Sponsored Primary Health Care Development Bill Passes Second Reading

“we need a constitutional framework to strengthen our primary health care delivery system”

Ubong SAMPSON

Series of commendations went the way of Rt. Hon (Barr) Onofiok Luke, Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly from his colleagues in the 6th Assembly over what they described as a “sustained interest” on his part in the welfare of others, especially the commoners.

The commendations came, Tuesday, during a plenary of the House, trailing a “bill for a law to provide for the establishment of Akwa Ibom State primary health care development agency and for matters connected therewith”, which has Speaker Luke and twelve (12) others as sponsor and co-sponsors respectively.

Among the several other members who spoke in support of the bill, Hon Samuel Ufuo, Member for Mbo State Constituency commended the speaker for the initiative, while describing the bill as timely and very necessary at this time.

Hon Ufuo noted that the state needs such healthcare system to ensure that healthcare delivery is taken to people in the rural areas. He also stressed that the proposed agency is important to enable people living with low income have access to healthcare services.

While also noting that the establishment will ensure equitable distribution of healthcare delivery, the Mbo lawmaker also pointed out the benefit of employment opportunities which the establishment will create for the masses.

On his part, the Ibiono Ibom representative, Rt. Hon (Barr) Ime Okon particularly commended Speaker Luke for his “sustained interest in the wellbeing of others”, while adding that for such agency not to have existed in the state was apparently a gross oversight.

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Barr Okon further urged his colleagues to vote in support of the bill, considering its utmost importance, so as to enable it have a speedy success.

Earlier while giving an insight on the bill, the sponsor, Barr Onofiok Luke noted that the primary healthcare development agency is needed in the state to provide a constitutional framework to strengthen the primary healthcare delivery system.

He stressed that the world today is talking about universal health coverage which the state, despite its need to adopt same, lacks the required framework to achieve that.

While hinting that Akwa Ibom is one of the four (4) Nigerian states yet to establish the said agency, Speaker Luke also stressed the need for the state to join the world in moving towards ensuring total healthcare for all.

He further advised that while ensuring this, focus should not be paid only on the urban areas and its residents, but also on the rural areas where primary healthcare is much needed, adding that this aim cannot be achieved without an agency to regulate policies and activities concerning this, as well as ensuring proper implementation and sustenance.

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