Reps express worry over poor funding of primary healthcare

THE House of Representatives on Tuesday expressed worry over poor funding of primary healthcare services by the Federal Government.

To this end, the lawmakers called for improved funding for the primary healthcare sector to perform optimally.

The Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, who declared open a two-day public hearing on financing healthcare and revitalisation of primarily healthcare system in Nigeria, said that primary healthcare financing was still characterised by low investment by Federal Government.

The Speaker, who was represented by the Minority Leader, Honourable Leo Ogor, said that there was need for Federal Government to come up with plans on how to raise funds on primary healthcare.

The Chairman of House Committee on Health Services, Honourable Chike Okafor, also decried the state of primary healthcare at the grassroots, saying, “Currently, there are 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) with 9,572 political wards in Nigeria. At least, each of the LGAs has one primary healthcare centre (PHC) that is not functional.

He added that, “most of these PHC centres lack drug supplies, basic health infrastructures and cannot boast of good number of medical personnel. In fact, patients accessing these PHC centres can hardly afford the cost of transportation or cost of subsidised drugs in these centres due to the economic hardship of most rural dwellers.”

The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, who was at the hearing said that there was need to reposition healthcare service delivery in the country, noting that was need for partnership with individuals and corporate organisations to take the primary healthcare sector to greater height.

Speaking further, the minister said that, there was too much pressure on secondary and tertiary health institutions in the country as a result of defective or near non-existent primary healthcare system at the grassroots.