The Federal Government has released the sum of N15.12 billion to states across the country to refurbish the Primary Healthcare Centres(PHCs), as part of its pro-poor health policy.
Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole made this disclosure in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, after he paid a working visit to University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, including the Kola Daisi Foundation Centre for Primary and Community Health, Ibadan.
Adewole said each state government had received N420 million to refurbish their PHCs, adding that at the expiration of a year, state government that appropriately used the money would receive another one.
The minister, who said this was not indicative that the Federal Government had taken over PHCs in the country, stated “we do not want state governments to abrogate their responsibilities, so we have given them money to take care of their people and facilities.”
Adewole said it was in support of its programme to reach at least 100 million Nigerians through pro-poor health policy of the government.
The minister maintained that the money to revitalise the primary healthcare was also aimed at decongesting tertiary hospitals while ensuring that people could access healthcare closer to their homes.
On his working visit, the minister announced that the Federal Government has picked the hospital as one of the seven health facilities to be upgraded this year.
He explained that the UCH was capable of handling any medical case as well as supporting the reversal of medical tourism with the available manpower and facilities.
According to him, “UCH can handle virtually any case in this country and I believe that when the right partnership is in place, we can actually stop medical tourism. Not only that we can reverse it, even non-Nigerians can come in to have their treatment.”
Adewole also used the occasion to commission the Total Quality Management unit in the hospital, which is to help to capture patients’ complaints in all departments and effect measures to address them.
He also pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to adopt the Kola Daisi Foundation Centre for Primary and Community Health Centre as well as the expansion and upgrading of the hospital’s accident and emergency unit that recently got burnt.
In his reaction to the visit, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Professor Temitope Alonge, described it as timely and highly profitable in terms of the on-the-spot assessment the minister was able to make, through which some of the challenges of the hospital would be met.