WorldStage Newsonline-- The Federal Government of Nigeria said it is in the process of implementing the National Health Act, 2014, especially in the area of the basic Health care provision Fund.
The government has not allocated the one per cent consolidated Fund in the past two budgetary years as required by the Act.
President Muhammadu Buhari who spoke Tuesday at the flag off of the Primary Health Care Revitalisation programme and commissioning of the Kuchigoro Primary Healthcare Centre, as Model health care centre in Abuja, said that his administration was fully prepared to change the trend where majority of the people don't have access to basic health care services in the country.
He said the vision of the government was to revitalize 10,000 primary healthcare facilities in the country.
He stressed that his administration will continue to ensure that greater numbers of Nigerians have access to quality basic health care services.
He said: “I want to assure Nigerians that Government will continue to ensure that great numbers of Nigerians have access to quality basic health care services. Accordingly, the provision in the National Health Act, 2014 for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund is in the process of being implemented. I also assure my fellow countrymen and women that our Administration will fulfil all the promises made to the people.
"The provision of quality health care service will reverse the poor health indices in the country. I am hopeful that our women will no more be dying needlessly during childbirth; our children will no more be dying needlessly as a result of vaccine preventable diseases or common ailment; access to health care will not be limited because of lack of money to pay."
He described the revitalization programme as part of the of the government's commitment to put health as a top priority in the country.
He said, "My presence here today demonstrates our Administration’s commitment to put health of Nigerians as a top priority. Our goal of revitalizing the Primary Health Care Centres is to ensure that quality basic health care services are delivered to majority of Nigerians irrespective of their location in the country.
"We shall focus more on the people living in the rural areas and the vulnerable population in our society such as women, children under 5years of age and the elderly in collaboration with national and international partners.
"Let me state clearly, that this revitalization programme is in alignment with the agenda of our party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). We did promise to provide succour to the poor while at the same time providing for all other segments of the society.
" I am aware that out of pocket payment for health constitute over 70% of total health expenditure. This is more than the globally recommended 30-40%. However, only less than 5% of the total population is covered by any kind of health insurance or risk protection mechanism which is against the recommended 90% coverage by the World Health Organisation. Our vision is to reverse this unsatisfactory situation and better care for the poor and needy.
"Our Administration in recognition of this promised to revitalize one Primary Health Care Centre in each of the political wards in the country. So far, we have commenced the revitalization of one Primary Health Care in each senatorial zone in the country. Our vision is to revitalise 10,000 Primary Health Care Facilities in Nigeria using a phased approach. The first phase of this approach is what we are flagging off today. It will signal the revitalization of the first 109 Primary Health Care facilities across the 36 states and the FCT.
"Kuchigoro Primary Health Care Centre has been renovated as a model primary health care centre where quality health care services will be obtained at little or no cost to the beneficiaries. This is through the collaboration of Government (Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Federal Capital Development Administration and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital) and Partners such as General Electric and Sterling Bank."
Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole in his welcome remark said that the health system in the country only favoured the rich but under the present administration, they were concentrating on the poor.
He explained that the initiative was to provide qualitative and affords able health services the people, basically the poor.
He stated that ministry had developed Guidelines for the utilisation of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund to ensure transparency and accountability in the country’s health sector.
He also called on the private sector to participate in the management and implementation of various health services across the country.
Dr Emmanuel Odu, Acting Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) stated the agency had revitalized two Health Care facilities while targeting 109 across the country.
"We are targeting 109 but we have completed the work in 2 healthcare facilities. Voka in Niger state and kunchigoro in the FCT," he said.
He stressed that "having the President Muhammadu Buhari flagging off the revitalization of a nationwide initiative means so much.
“It kicks start the process of getting Primary healthcare services available to all Nigerians everywhere especially in the rural areas and it is a great development."
He however assured Nigerians that the program will be sustained beyond this Government because of the array of stakeholders that have been put together around this initiative.
Joyce Shyngle - Wigwe, Executive Director, Government Affairs & Policy West Africa General Electric (GE) Global Growth noted that the focus was on the rural dwellers so as to ensure that people at that level have access to qualitative healthcare.
According to her, "We want to be able to diagnose at a very early stage, those pregnancy that more risky than others and to be able to refer them adequately. What we are trying to do is reduce maternal and infant mortality. You will find out that most PHC facilities haven't been looked after or used for so many years.
"So GE is trying to do, is to revitalize it and to develop capacity so that these women at a very stage can get help in the rural level. We are focusing on the rural level.
"We are working with the federal ministry of health, state government, local health care providers for provision sustainable healthcare for Nigerians."
She also urged Nigerians "to work with the government by visiting these PHCs to get help. They can get help at the rural level before going to the hospital."