The Shura Council has endorsed a draft law to regulate media in its audio-video forms and a general health law bill.
The legislative committee of the Council studied the new media draft law, which was proposed by members Dr Shaikh Khalid Al Khalifa, Ibrahim Bashmi, Abduljaleel Al Tareef, Dr Hashim Al Bash and Jamal Fakhro, and recommended its endorsement.
However, a bit of commotion occurred when the Minister of Information, Nabeel bin Yacoub Al Hamer, asked the council to listen to his opinion on the bill before they voted it. As a matter of principle I can't deny that I like such a law and would support it. But I think the council was too rash in making a decision about it,' he said.
The ministry isn't the only entity concerned with such a law; there are other institutions such as the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. I'd suggest that the council analyse all aspects of the law with concerned entities other than the ministry and redraft it according to their recommendations, Al Hamer said.
Council Chairman Dr Faisal Radhi Al Mousawi agreed with the minister's view but the majority endorsed and forwarded the law to the Government.
The general health law bill endorsed by the majority, will probably be ratified soon by the Government making it the first health law in Bahrain.
The law will be on internal regulations of the Ministry of Health and other sectors of health. The Council has endorsed the bill after the Government added recommendations to the initial draft.
The law will concern the ministry, hospitals and private practitioners and will affect restaurant hygiene, building safety, drainage, factories, graveyards and many other factors concerning health, safety and hygiene in all that concerns daily life.
The law carries severe penalties for offenders.
I believe that the Kingdom would benefit from the law a lot, and I have to salute the Minister of Health, Dr Nada Haffadh, who played an important role in bringing the bill to life when she was a member of our council,' said Shura member Abdulrahman Al Ghatam. The law would fill in many gaps we have in our legislation and will help many concerned parties.
Shura member Dr Shaikh Ali bin Abdullah Al Khalifa agreed.I believe that the council's decision to endorse the bill will help some neglected groups, including women, children and the elderly, he said.
I believe that Dr Nada's efforts when she was a Shura member in formulating the law have helped us considerably in making the bill a successful venture. It will affect all aspects of health from self-hygiene, state medical services, health awareness and public relations campaigns with the aid of other ministries and civic-society institutions, he said.