By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Minister of Health, Prof Isacc Adewole, has appealed to the members of the House Committee on Health not to reduce health budget as the Ministry was working with States and Local Governments to revitalize the Primary Health Care system across the country.
The Minister made the appeal on recently while speaking at the public hearing on the urgent need to avert a national health crisis through revitalization and adequate funding of Primary Healthcare System organized by the House of Representative Committee on Health Services in Abuja.
Mr Adewole described the meeting as a renewed commitment of partnership between the Federal Ministry of Health and the House of Representatives towards achieving the Universal Health Coverage promised by the present administration.
He said that lack of functional primary health care in the rural areas created more burden to the Tertiary Health Institutions where the facilities and the staff that were supposed to be specialists to handle serious ailments were battling with treating malaria and other minor ailments which could have been treated at the Primary Health Care Centres.
Speaking on financial resources in the health sector, the Minister said that the Federal Government was working with private sectors to explore alternative sources of funding to the health sector stressing that the Federal Government can’t do it alone.
The Minister however implored the Committee Members to preserve the Health budget. “Please preserve our budget. Don’t cut it, we want to deliver health care to our people”.
Mr Adewole appreciated the Committee members for their interest on revitalizing Primary Health care centres in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Speaker House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara represented by the Minority Leader, Mr Leo Ogor said that one of the greatest challenges in the health sector was health financing.
He urged the participants to come up with plans on how to raise funds to revitalize the primary Healthcare system in the country as he described it as the first port of call for majority of Nigerians living in the rural areas.
He also canvassed for allocation and proper utilization of funds in a way that would promote efficiency and equity in accessing health care.
Also speaking at the occasion, Chairman, House Committee on Health Care Services, Mr Chike Okafor said that the objectives of the public hearing was to map out strategies and activities for PHC revitalization and financing in Nigeria, as well as to provide an interface between all stakeholders to identify and proffer practical and measurable solutions to PHC funding bottlenecks.
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