The Senate has passed a bill seeking to amend the Psychiatric Hospitals Management Board Act 2004 and to establish the Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Budo-Egba, Kwara state.
The passage of the bill provides a legal framework for already established psychiatric hospitals across the country, and would facilitate the training of specialist personnel.
The bill was passed by the upper chamber after it considered the report of the Health Committee (Secondary and Tertiary).
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, recalled that the Psychiatric Hospitals Management Board Act was enacted under the military administration in 1979 with only three hospitals.
“Ever since, there have been some additional ones created in the South-West, South-East, South-South, North-East, North-West but without enabling laws to give them legal backing.
“To date, no Psychiatric Hospital is located in the North-Central. With the increase in our population in Nigeria, it is timely to establish adequate Psychiatric Hospitals to meet the challenges posed to the citizenry and the country”, Oloriegbe said.
He added that establishing a Federal Neuro-Psychiatric hospital in Budo-Egba, Kwara state, and ensuring that the already long established ones are backed by operating legal framework, would bring specialized healthcare service closer to residents of densely populated urban and rural communities.