Reps Advocate Free Medicare For Pregnant Women

By Alice Etuka, Abuja

The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to direct public healthcare institutions to provide free medical services for pregnant women during and after delivery.

The Lawmakers gave the call came at plenary on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.

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They also urged the ministry to implement routine checks to ensure continuity, compliance by medical personnel, and sustainability of childbirth processes.

Rep. Mohammed Shehu (PDP-Bauchi) who moved the motion said averred that the government established public healthcare institutions to provide medical services to humanity.

Shehu maintained that drugs were supplied to the institutions,they were equipped with modern medical facilities and charged with the responsibility of handling healthcare-related matters.

He explained that though healthcare services were not restricted to pregnant women, efforts to encourage free treatment for expectant mothers have not been fully been realised.

He argued that given the fertility statistics in the country, there was need for free medical treatment for pregnant women to boost the country’s fertility rate:

“Nigeria is grappling with high disease rates, resulting in an annual maternal mortality rate of expectant mothers and children due to pregnancy complications and the polio virus.

“Further aware that government requires public healthcare institutions to have medical professionals, give adequate attention to patients, including pregnant women, during childbirth to address complications and find permanent solutions.

“There is a need for the government to prioritise policy actions aimed at improving healthcare delivery systems, particularly for pregnant women, to alleviate their hardships and boost their confidence,” he said.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu mandated the Committee on Healthcare Services and Healthcare Institutions to liaise with the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

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