Minister at FMC reiterates commitment to revitalise sector
The Minister for Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has emphasised government’s commitment to improve the nation’s heathcare. He made the remark during his visit to Federal Medical Centre Ebute-Metta and meeting with medical directors across the country stating that it is a clear review of assessment on what is going and to let the public know what is going on in the health sector.
“I am more than satisfied in what I have seen here and it reflects what we can achieve once the leadership is committed. So the first one is for us to share experiences and give support to the Chief Executives that are doing so well,” he said.
Adewole said the essence of meeting is for networking and sharing solutions to enable the ministry prepare the 2019 budget because in understanding their challenges, it will help fill the budget cycle. “It is also a direct response to some of the demand by the member of the public that they want to see and also ask questions people on what exactly we are doing,” he added.
Admitting they have done so well, the minister said: “We are doing so much; the whole essence of what we have done in almost three years is putting lives into the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs). This is what led us to the agenda to revitalize the 10,000 PHCs. “Right now, we have done with our partners over 4000 of the PHCs and we will still do more. With the implementation of Basic Health Care Provision Fund of N55.1billion set aside in the 2018 appropriation. All our PHCs will have a face of life and we expect Nigerians to go there and receive basic healthcare free of charge.”
Addressing the issue of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Adewole continued: “The NHIS is being addressed at two levels. At the federal level, half of the money (N55.1billion) will be channeled through the NHIS so that we can pay for services. If you deliver there you won’t have to pay, that will be covered by the NHIS component of the scheme.
“Secondly, we are working with the states. Many of the states are implementing state health insurance or contributory scheme that is going to key in to the national. Hopefully in the next couple of months all state will have an ongoing insurance scheme. No state will benefit from the basic healthcare provision fund without a verily approved state health insurance scheme.” The Minister added that the work they are doing is to put in place the National Health Policy 2016 which captured repositioning of PHC because if they fail to do that, everybody will come to the tertiary hospitals and you won’t be able to offer quality services. “That is why we made the revitalization of primary healthcare a priority because these are facilities closet to our people so that 80 per cent of our people can free access to care,” he said.
Adewole also directed the leadership of the Chief Executives to employ more doctors and nurses so that there will be enough hands to healthcare. He advocated for the partnership of the media to showcase what is happening to Nigerians.
“When you see those facilities it is to let people know that things are happening in Nigeria. Nigerians are capable, experienced and no point of going outside for treatment. The first thing is to make sure the facilities are there, the second is to make sure that our people offer compassionate care because sometimes people go abroad because they wanted to be treated special and also to educate them that those facilities are here,” he added.