THE Federal Government has secured a loan of $500 million to bring back to life over 10,000 primary healthcare centres in the country in order to meet the health needs of rural communities.
Towards this end, every state in the country will receive the sum of $1.5 million to kick start the revamping of the critical health sector.
Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who made the disclosure over the weekend in Benin during the unveiling of the maiden edition of the Edo State Branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) journal titled,” Annals of Medical and Surgical Practice”, the Federal Government was committed to improving the standard of living in the rural areas.
Ehanire, who frowned at medical tourism, however, remarked that repeated strike in the health sector has made patients to seek alternative medicare in foreign countries, saying industrial disharmony and unhealthy rivalry among healthcare professionals is inimical to growth and development of the health sector.
He appealed to members of the NMA to consider the lives of their patients first and never see industrial action as an option in resolving disharmony between government and health workers.
Chairman of the Edo State NMA, Prof Afekhide Omoti, at the official unveiling of the NMA journal said the journal is the first ever by Edo NMA to serve the purpose of encouraging scientific research and publication of discoveries in medical practice among medical doctors and other health professionals.
He said, “There must be enough commitment to develop the health sector. All the problems about utilities are to an extent due to management challenges.
“A hospital is not run only by doctors; is also run by nurses, other health professionals group, auxiliary professions and by managers. We need improvement in all these sectors to be able to rival those countries where our people go to for medical treatment.”