National Health Act Tailored To Reactivate PHCs
- Written by Oluwafemi Olowookere
The Minister of State for Health, Dr.Osagie Ehanire has said that the National Health Act, National Health Policy and National Strategic Health Development Plan2 are all geared towards rejuvenating Primary Healthcare System in the country.
The Minister stated this recently in Benin when he declared open a 3-day workshop organised by the Edo State Government with the theme: Remodelling Healthcare Delivery in Edo State: New Vision, New Horizon.
He noted that the National Health Act, National Health Policy, and the National Strategic Health Development Plan2 provide the framework for the Universal Health Coverage and ‘’Agenda for Change’’ of President Muhammadu Buhari Administration by rejuvenating referral system and strengthening health care services at the primary level.
He noted that if primary healthcare centres were reactivated across the country, at least 100 million Nigerians at ward level could be reached with a basic minimum package of quality healthcare.
To this end, he said that Development Partners like the European Union (EU) committed to assist Nigeria by revitalizing 774 PHCs and the Department for International Development (DFID) pledged to revitalize over 900 PHCs.
Dr Ehanire announced that the Federal Ministry of Health has commenced phased implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund(BHCPF) as enshrined in the National Health Act beginning with Niger, Abia and Osun States.
He attributed the decay in health care delivery in the country over the years to financially and administratively weak Local governments, under- equipped and under-staffed General Hospitals and Comprehensive Healthcare Centres, adding that tertiary hospitals have been over burdened with flow of patients from collapsed primary and secondary health systems.
Other factors bedevilling the health sector he noted, are poor coordination between public and private healthcare practitioners, lack of definition and regulation of traditional and herbal medicine practitioners and the rise of health sector quacks and charlatans of all calibres, exploiting weaknesses in the health system thereby compounding damage to citizens’ health.
He said that despite these challenges, Nigeria must strive to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target.
He stated that the objective of the workshop was to harness existing opportunities in the health sector, with a view to enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, use of technology, cost optimization and service delivery.
In his closing remarks, the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr.Godwin Obaseki said that the State Government was relentlessly working to develop a master plan that will take healthcare delivery in the state to the next level.
He said that remodelling of the health care delivery system in the State was borne out of the government seriousness to ensure that affordable, accessible and quality health care was provided down to the grassroots, hinting that Public Private Participation (PPP) was key to the provision of quality healthcare hence the government was collaborating with the private sector to reactivate the health sector in the state.