Senate faults conversion of PTF to Steering Committee

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Senate Committee on Health has faulted the conversion of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to a Presidential Steering Committee by the Federal Government without consultation with the National Assembly.

This came as the committee expressed surprise that the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) embarked on their proposed strike despite what the Federal Government had done in meeting their demands.

Chairman of the committee Senator Yahaya Ibrahim Oloriegbe stated these during a public hearing on a Bill titled: “Federal Medical Centre, Mubi, Adamawa State (Establishment) Bill, 2021” in Abuja.

Oloriegbe’s comment on the conversion of the PTF to a steering committee on COVID-19 followed the submission of the ministry on Bills either seeking to establish or upgrade existing healthcare facilities to tertiary institutions.

The ministry had in its memorandum to the committee kicked against the proposed upgrading of a general hospital in Mubi, Adamawa State, to a Federal Medical Centre (FMC).  It claimed that there was already a teaching hospital in the state.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, who represented the Minister of Health, had said there was need for consultation with the ministry before such bills seeking to establish or upgrade existing healthcare facilities are drafted and presented.

Oloriegbe, however, faulted the ministry’s position and insisted that it is the executive that often neglects to consult with the National Assembly before announcing crucial policies or embarking on programmes.

Oloriegbe said: “Talking about consultation, of course, as you agreed and alluded that this (public hearing) is part of consultation.

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