Minister urged stakeholders to deliver efficient health services

By ORIH CHIBUIKE, The Nigerian Voice, Abuja

The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, has called on all stakeholders in the health sector to map out strategies to deliver efficient health services to every Nigerian.

Adewole who disclosed this at the First Annual Lecture on Primary Health Services organised by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in Abuja.

"All the agencies in the health sector need to work together to improve access to basic health services to all communities.

"We will refocus and put the health of the average Nigerian on the front burner; we will also pay attention to antenatal, malaria, HIV and AIDS", he said.

According to Adewole, Primary Health Care forms an integral part of the country.

He said the ministry would explore the Public Private Partnership to ensure improved, accessible, affordable and reliable health services.

In his lecture "PHC in Nigeria: realities challenges and the way forward", former Minister of Health, Prof. Eyitayo Lambo called for effective implementation of the National Health Act, particularly the PHC.

"There is need to implement the National Health Act, especially its provision for minimum basic health package, for health services to be successful.

"The way forward for the primary health care in the country is to sustain support for the scaling up and coordination of the existing health initiatives", he said.

Lambo said there was need to expand the primary health care services coverage.

He said PHC would continue to be relevant to the achievement, by 2030, of Universal Health Coverage.

"In Nigeria, 70 per cent of the population lives in the rural areas; so, making PHC the cornerstone of the national health system is a step in the right direction".

Lambo stressed the need for clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of the three tiers of government in respect of health and PHC in particular, through constitution review.

He also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to fight corruption, fraud, and abuse of office at all levels of government.

"At least 15 per cent of government’s total expenditure should be allocated to the health sector and incrementally more annually until we achieve the target".

"Government should also explore its relevant organs for innovative ways to finance health services especially PHC".

He called on State Governments to accord the health sector high priority.

The Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Ado Muhammad, said the lecture aimed to ensure best practices and international standards in the delivery of efficient Universal Health Coverage in the country.