Lawyers Alert V Minister of Health & 2 0rs FHC/ABJ/CS/1636/2019
PRESCRIPTIONS OF CATEGORY OF PERSONS EXEMPTED FROM MAKING PAYMENTS FOR HEALTH SERVICES RECEIVED FROM PUBLIC HEALTH FACILITIES.
Lawyers Alert instituted an action against the Minister of Health in December 2019 seeking that the Minister and other Respondents amongst other reliefs, addresses the issue of the Minister’s non-compliance with the provisions of section 3 (1) and 15 (2) of the National Health Act, 2015 which mandates the Minister in Consultation with the National Health Council to make prescriptions as to the category of persons who may be exempted from making payment for services received from public health facilities. It is believed that the right and access to free medical care is a fundamental right issue by virtue of Article 16 of the African Charter on People’s rights and needs to be enforced. The action sought to ensure that persons in need of medical care are given the same free of charge where necessary.
Outcome: The action was struck out by the court for want of jurisdiction on the basis that the duty on the Minister to prescribe the categories of persons entitled to free medical care can not be enforced as a fundamental right.