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‘Quack clinics’ closure looms as Health Facility Bill tabled in parliament

By William Madouk


Central Equatoria State Minister of Health, Nejua Juma Mursal, has tabled the private health facility draft bill for 2024 before the parliament to regulate healthcare facilities scattered around Juba city.

Addressing the MPs at the state parliament on Wednesday, Nejua said that when the demand for health services increased, South Sudan developed guidelines for state ministers to follow in the process of licensing and inspection.

“These guidelines assist us in the state ministry of health in the 10 states to develop an inspection guideline within our jurisdiction of these states,” Nejua said.

According to her, the enacted Drug and Food Control Authority Act of 2011 also granted state ministries of health the right to license and inspect private healthcare facilities.

“During the time of the defunct Jubek state, which is the only state from the three defunct states that enacted a private health facility bill in 2019, we took it as a base in the Ministry of Health CES to develop this bill,” the minister stated.

“With these few remarks, allow me to table the private health facility bill for 2024,” she added.

In a sitting presided over by assembly Speaker Peter Wani Kulang, the bill was referred to the committee for service and members’ affairs to scrutinize and return before the lawmakers of the CES assembly after two weeks of deliberations.

Reacting to the matter, lawmaker Khamis James said the bill would put the healthcare system in order.

“There is a lot of mushrooming of these private health sectors that are not being controlled, and the Ministry is not able to control it because they don’t have a document or a law that is being put in place,” he noted.

“This is one step forward that will take Central Equatoria to mitigate these issues that are surrounding the state,” James added.

Another MP, Daniel, said, “We have a lot of health facilities established, private clinics, and many more, and because of the vulnerability of our people, they always see that this is a health facility and access it.”

The legislator doubted whether there is regular supervision conducted at health facilities to ensure drug safety.

“We wonder whether the people who are working there are qualified because, by the way, they handle patients when it comes to intravenous, some individuals panic and even find it difficult to locate the veins,” Daniel stated.

“This clearly tells you that this is not the right person in the right place” he added.

“Second is the issue of drug quality control; we rarely get information as to whether there is regular supervision of drug supplies in our facilities because, out of ignorance, some people take medicines that are expired,” Daniel claimed.

He alleged that medicines don’t cure patients anymore due to storage issues, as few pharmacies don’t even have air conditioners or fans.

While MP Mecca rued the lack of funds for committees to fast-track the bill at their end, adding that the lack of resources parlayed the August House’s work as bills piled up.

“All bills that are brought into the committee work that has been assigned to this August House remain at the committee level,” she stated.

Mecca added, “Even as I’m talking now, there is committee work going on in this Parliament, but because of funding, it has not been accomplished, and it is piling, piling, piling. I don’t know what we are going to do.”

She urged the Ministry of Finance to allocate funds for the committees to do their jobs.

Equally, the state minister of gender, child, and social welfare, Huda Lillia, presented her docket’s policy framework for 2024–2028.

Afterwards, the policy framework was referred to the Committee for Gender and social welfare to scrutinize and tabled before the lawmakers of the CES assembly after three weeks of deliberations.


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