Members of Parliament on Monday commenced amendments of the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Bill, 2011, made up of 121 clauses.
The House has made amendment proposals to 24 clauses in addition to other new clauses that are also to be considered by the legislators.
Clause 29 sub-clause (3) line two on Medical and Dental Council, which reads: “a practitioner, who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than two hundred and fifty penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than one year or to both.”
The old penalty has been substituted with not less than five hundred penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units and the one year substituted with ten years.
Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, Chairman of the Select Committee on Health, said in the old bill, people who contravened the provision easily got away with criminal activities; therefore the Committee was of the view that the punishment should be hasher in the amended bill.
The object of the 121 clauses bill is to establish health professions regulatory bodies for allied health professions, doctors, nurses and midwifes and pharmacists.
The bill establishes the Allied Health Profession Council, the Medical and Dental, the Nursing and Midwifery and the Pharmacy Council.
It is also to consolidate the laws on health regulatory bodies in the country and regulate the practice of health professions in one enactment.
The regulatory bodies are similar in nature and government has considered it expedient to bring laws on health professionals together.
Each of the regulatory bodies previously had separate enactments with the exception of the Allied Health Professional Council which is new.
The Medical and Dental Act, 1972 (NRCD 1991), the Nurses and Midwives Act, 1972(NRCD 117) and the Pharmacy Act, 1994 (Act 489) are consequently repealed by this bill.
The bill is divided into five parts, with the first part, which is clause one to four dealing with Allied Health Professions Council, the second part, which is from clause 21 to 45 on the medical and dental council, the third from clause 46 to 66 on the regulation and promotion of the nursing and midwifery profession, ensure quality education of nurses and midwives and promote standards of professional conduct and efficiency.
The fourth part, clause 67 to 104, contains provisions on the Pharmacy Council whilst the fifth part contain clauses 105 to 121, which is about administrative, financial and miscellaneous provisions for the health professions regulatory bodies.
Intestate succession Bill, 2009 is also at the consideration stage.