Primary Healthcare takes 64% of health budget-Minster
Primary HealthCare (PHC) gulps the largest chunk of the budget in the health sector, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said. Adewole noted that 64% of the ministry’s budget goes to PHC, a sign that the
Primary HealthCare (PHC) gulps the largest chunk of the budget in the health sector, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said.
Adewole noted that 64% of the ministry’s budget goes to PHC, a sign that the current administration pays premium to improving access to healthcare in the country.
The minister who spoke Tuesday in Abuja at the official launch of the Technical Support Programme (STP) stressed that investing in the PHC is the right way to go to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
He said, “Investing in PHC is the right way to go. Over the last two years, we have changed the funding structure and the Executive Director will testify to the fact that the agency is gulping the largest chunk of our allocation.
“When we started it was from 18 percent and moved to 64per cent. So the ED, you are the prime center of attraction and I pray that you continue to deliver.”
He explained why much is going into PHC, saying that previous spending on teaching hospitals have failed to achieve the desired result, hence the need to re-focus.
“Many of my colleagues were disappointed because they thought our primary focus will be teaching hospitals but I think we will be wasting our time and energy if we decide to go that way. Number one, we have done that already and we have not really achieved the desired result. so we need to turn things around to focus on primary health care where our people go to and that is the facility closest to our people. ”
On the launched STP, Adewole said it was approved at the last National Council on Health meeting.
The initiative, he said is meant to strengthen the effective coordination of technical supports to states so as to ensure one health plan across the country.
He explained further that the initiative will also help address the various challenges in the health sector.
According to him, “It will also ensure the realization of our goal of one frame work, one implementation plan and one evaluation plan for the Nigeria health sector. As part of the efforts to address the challenges, we approved the establishment of the Technical Support Unit within the NPHCDA and SPHCDA during the last National council of health. The TSP is meant to strenghthen the NPHCDA to effectively coordinate the technical support to the state primary health care board through the Technical Support Programme.”
He also added, “As you may be aware, efforts have been made in the recent past to address the challenges facing the health sector and to reverse the trend of the poor health indices that we are noted for government’s interventions have produced a lot of positive results in areas of emergency, preparedness and response. At the last count, Cameroon has shown interest in learning how Nigeria have been able to manage the Lassa fever crisis. In addition, the response to Tuberculosis, polio eradication and our efforts at controlling non communicable diseases to mention but a few. Other initiatives that are bringing remarkable results includes the Saving one million lives initiative, the Nigeria state health investment project, the Basic Health Care Provision Fund which is the toast of the current situation.
“But we must continue to work harder to be an enviable health sector. The federal ministry of health has the key role of formulating and implementing health policies that will ensure the delivery of quality and effective health care services to all Nigerians. To achieve this, Government and partners have developed the National Strategic Development part 11 which is a robust 5 years road map for the Nigeria health sector,” he said.
Stressing the importance of STP, the Executive Director, Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shaiub noted that states still struggle with challenges in the area of primary health care, which underline the need for technical assistance from the Centre.
“Today, states continue to struggle with cold chain maintenance, delivery of vaccines in the right quantity, to the right place and at the right time, shortage of human resources for health – just to mention a few.
“The persistence of these challenges clearly highlights the need for the NPHCDA to improve on the delivery of its mandate to provide policy direction, technical and logistics support to states and local government areas (LGAs to implement PHC services across the 36 states and FCT).