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Nigerian Primary, Secondary health centers have collapsed – Minister

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…Indicts Kebbi, Jigawa, Ogun, Sokoto, others over health fund

The Federal Government on Tuesday said that primary and secondary healthcare centers in the country have collapsed.

Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, stated this on the floor of the Senate.

He also listed 14 states that failed to indicate interest in the basic healthcare provision fund created to enhance primary healthcare services.

The minister was invited to brief the Senate on the poor state of teaching hospitals in the country.

He told the lawmakers that the collapse of primary and secondary healthcare centers in the country is responsible for avoidable pressure on the teaching hospitals.

Nigerians, he said, have lost confidence in primary and secondary healthcare centers due to their collapse.

He said that teaching hospitals were not expected to treat malaria as is the care but to handle complicated health challenges.

The minister stressed the need for the country to invest in primary health centers to function effectively to dissuade people from going to teaching hospitals.

The minister named the 14 states that were yet to key into the basic healthcare provision fund initiative to include Kebbi, Jigawa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Gombe, Rivers, Borno, Zamfara, Ondo, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Ogun and Sokoto.

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He described the approval of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund as a game changer in the health sector.

Adewole who noted that the States have literally abandoned healthcare such that everything is handled by the Federal Government insisted that “we cannot succeed with this.”

He noted 22 other states have complied with the conditions required to benefit from the scheme.

Adewole said: “We have through your (National Assembly) support some funds. You approved it to enable us provide healthcare basic fund. It is a game changer. We have spent almost a year developing the guideline and over the last weeks we have started a rollout and as at the last count, 22 states have registered for the basic healthcare provision fund.

What we have done with the fund is to structure it in a way that money will flow from the Central Bank to the primary healthcare facilities bypassing all obstacles.

Last week, we succeeded in moving out funds from the Central Bank to the agencies and from the agencies, it will go to the primary healthcare.

As of today, 14 states are yet to show interest in the basic health care provision fund and because senators represent the entire country, I want to quickly seek your permission to tell you the states. It is unfortunate because this is a game changer.

 

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