FG to revamp Primary Health Centres with $500m loan

AS PART of efforts to revamp the ailing Health sector the Federal government may have secured a N500million loan from international donor agencies working in the health sector to reactivate over 10,000 Primary Health Care (PHC) Centres nationwide. The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this in Benin City at the weekend, during the unveiling of the maiden edition of the journal of the Edo State Branch of the  Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) with the title, “Annals of medical and surgical practice”. Ehanire who said each state in the country is  to get the sum of $1.5 Million to drive the revitalization process argued that the essence of reactivating the 10,000 PHC centres in all the 36 states of the federation is to ensure and provide quality health service delivery. Lamenting the incessant strike in the health sector the Minister noted that the role of the medical practitioners cannot be overemphasized, stressing on the need for commitment and dedication on the part of the doctors to improve healthcare delivery in the country. “There must be enough commitment to develop the health sector. A hospital is not run only by Doctors. It is also run by Nurses, other health professionals, auxiliary professions and also by managers, people who are not even Medical doctors at all such as the management engineers to keep things going”, Ehanire said. He then pledged government’s commitment to avert issues of strike by the NMA, adding that although NMA is doing its best to keep the Hospitals running, called for patience amongst the health care practitioners to allow for understanding. Appealing to members of the NMA to consider the lives of their patients first and” not jeopardize the lives of patients by going on strike, he said “The matter of strike should be laid aside to let the federal government discuss with the NMA and other health stakeholders on a round table. We should not be looking for the slightest opportunity to abandon work. Nigeria should be a place for medical tourism and not the reverse”. He frowned at the increase in medical tourism noting that as the critical as the Health sector,industrial disharmony and unhealthy rivalry among healthcare professionals is inimical to growth and development of the sector stressing that “too much strike in the health sector has compelled patients to seek for alternative medical care in foreign countries”. Chairman, Edo state NMA, Prof. Afekhide Omoti,in his remarks said the journal is the first ever by Edo NMA and is designed to serve the purpose of encouraging scientific research and publication of discoveries in medical practice among medical doctors and other health professionals. He noted that,”Such research will provide new knowledge on diseases and the ways to prevent and manage them”.

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