FG earmarks N260bn to revitalise PHCs- Pate


May 24, 2024

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja while giving account of his stewardship at the Ministerial Sectoral Briefings on the performance of President Bola Tinubu’s administration in the last one year.

According to him, the revitalisation is in line with the president’s directive and the fund is currently available at the state levels through International Development Association (IDA) financing and the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

“We are now providing guidelines to assist the states in the implementation of the revitalisation projects, ensuring that the resources are used prudently for their intended purposes,”he added

Pate also said that 1,400 PHCs were now able to provide skilled birth attendance, funded through the BHCPF.

He added that the first tranche of N35 million had been disbursed through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to 8,300 facilities.

The minister also said that a condition was put forward to the states that would access it.

He added that they must comply with the fiduciary guidelines that would be provided which were in response to lapses that have been observed over the years.

“Thirty-three states have received those funds and the rest of the states are just about to complete and receive their own financing to channel through the PHCs.”

He disclosed that a plan was outlined through NPHCDA in collaboration with the States, to revive 8,300 PHCs across the nation to make them fully functional and to expand and upgrade to 17,000 PHCs over the next three years.

“The expansion is to refurbish the centres, equip them and make them fully functional to deliver essential services.

“To deliver essential services such as immunisation, reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health services, treatment of non-communicable diseases, and to facilitate referrals to secondary facilities.’’

On workforce, he said that more than 2,400 health workers, doctors, nurses, midwives were recruited in facilities with many of them in rural areas to provide essential services to Nigerians.

According to him, the issue of health workforce has been a topical one and the Federal Government had doubled the enrolment quota of medical schools, nursing schools and other health conventional schools from 28,000 a year to 64,000 a year.

“That is just the first step, the education sector and the schools will have a role too to play to improve the infrastructure and the training tools to produce more health workforce.

“This is because we have to produce even more health workforce so that we can serve the population of this country.”

He said that in the last one year, in the federal hospitals the administration was able to complete 201 infrastructure projects, while 179 specific pieces of important medical equipment were procured.

He added that the medical equipment procured was also distributed by the federal government across the 36 states of the federation.

“Over the last nine months, in 33 of our federal tertiary hospitals, 4.5 million Nigerians were able to access outpatient services and 1.6 million Nigerians had inpatient admissions in those 33 facilities.

“So if you extrapolate from the 33 facilities, you would see that about 78 million Nigerians who were ill sought medical services from federal facilities, and about 2.5 million Nigerians who have had in patient admission in our facilities.”

He also announced that plans were underway for the ground breaking ceremony of 10 healthcare infrastructure projects, through the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), across the six geopolitical zones, including diagnostic centres and oncology centres.

These developments, he said, were part of a broader initiative involving public-private partnerships.

For health insurance, Pate said that to expand affordability and financial protection, the federal government was repositioning NHIA to expand insurance coverage for all Nigerians, especially the poor and vulnerable, not excluding civil servants who need deepened coverage.

He added that 1.8 million Nigerians were covered through the Vulnerable Groups Fund at NHIA.

He added that reforms of the NHIA soon to be announced would address areas including expanding private health insurance for informal sector, and strengthening the Health Management Organisations.

With regards to unlocking the healthcare value chain, the minister said that a draft Executive Order had been produced and finalised and once signed by the President, would reduce barriers related to the import of raw materials and equipment for pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

“This policy change will enable Nigerians to produce essential items domestically, such as syringes, needles, generic pharmaceuticals, test kits, and long-lasting insecticide treated nets for malaria.

“We aim to shift the production of bed nets, currently manufactured abroad, to local production, fostering self-sufficiency and economic growth.

“This initiative will shape the pharmaceutical market to support local industries. The President’s effective promotion of Nigeria as a business-friendly environment has already attracted several international investors and foreign direct investments.

“Notably, a Brazilian entity has committed 240 million dollars to establish a generic manufacturing plant in Nigeria. Additionally, three entities are set to produce test kits, with one already operational in Lagos and two more on the way.”

He said that improving governance was crucial for advancing the health and welfare sector but that it required collaboration between the federal government, states, development partners, private sector and civil society.

He added that for the first time, development partners signed a compact governing the nation’s joint operations with them.

“This also included the private sector and civil society. At that event, our partners pledged three billion dollars, reflecting their confidence in the president’s agenda.

“Of this pledge, we have signed 932 million dollars grant with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), 200 million dollars with a philanthropic foundation.

“We are expecting additional 60 million dollars in grants, 150 million dollars announced by the Gavi Alliance, in addition to one billion dollars facility governed by MOU signed with Afreximbank to unlock the healthcare value chains.”


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