The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said the National Health Act and policies have deisgned to rejuvenate the country’s Primary Health Care (PHC) system.
Ehanire listed other programmes geared towards reactivating the PHCs to include the National Health Policy and National Strategic Health Development Plan2.
The minister made this known in a statement issued by Mrs Boade Akinola, Director Media and Publicity of the ministry, on Thursday in Abuja.
He noted that the policies are the “Agenda for Change” of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration by rejuvenating referral system and strengthening health care services at the primary level.
He noted that if primary healthcare centres were reactivated across the country, at least 100 million Nigerians at ward level could be reached with a basic minimum package of quality healthcare.
He said that development partners like the European Union (EU) had committed to assist Nigeria by revitalising 774 PHCs and the Department for International Development (DFID) pledged to revitalise over 900 PHCs.
He added that tertiary hospitals have been overburdened with flow of patients from collapsed primary and secondary health systems.
Other factors bedeviling the health sector, he noted, are poor coordination between public and private healthcare practitioners, lack of definition and regulation of traditional and herbal medicine practitioners.
He added that the rise of health sector quacks and charlatans of all calibres were exploiting weaknesses in the health system thereby compounding damage to citizens’ health.
Ehanire said that despite these challenges, Nigeria must strive to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target.
The minister was in Benin when he opened a three-day workshop organised by the Edo Government with the theme `Remodelling Healthcare Delivery in Edo State: New Vision, New Horizon’.
He stated that the objective of the workshop was to harness existing opportunities in the health sector, with a view to enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, use of technology, cost optimisation and service delivery.