THE assurance that the Public Health Emergency Bill (PHEB) will go before parliament at the upcoming meeting has been welcomed by the Leader of the Opposition Matthew Wale.
The assurances were made by the Secretary to the Prime Minister (SPM) Dr. Jimmy Rodgers and Attorney General John Muria Jr.
Mr. Wale made this comment following the public statement by Dr. Jimmy Rodgers committing to putting the Bill before Parliament at its March 2021 meeting, and following consultations between officials from the Opposition and the Independent Group and Ministry of Health together with the Attorney General, held at Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara on the 3rd March 2021.
“I am looking forward to the bill coming to parliament, as it will hopefully provide a more flexible, effective, and science-based response to pandemics and other health emergencies,” Mr. Wale said in a statement yesterday.
“Prior to the bill coming to parliament, I would call on the National Government and its bill drafters to insert a provision to establish a Center for Disease Control whose director shall be responsible to declare a State of Public Health Emergency based on scientific findings.
“It is important that government response in a health emergency is based on science and lead by appropriate technical expertise,” said the Opposition Leader.
He said having to go through extensions of the states of public emergency over the one-year period had given the National Government ample time to have the proposed Public Health Emergency Bill in place so that the country does not have to go again to another state of public emergency and to provide a modern legal framework to deal with similar situations in the future.