FG Approves N260bn For Nationwide Revitalisation Of Primary Healthcare Centers

By Alice Etuka, Abuja

In line with efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage, the Federal Government has made N260 billion available for the revitalisation of Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) across the nation.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Muhammad Pate disclosed this on Friday, May 24, 2024, during the Sectoral Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the one year anniversary of President Bola Tinubu held in Abuja.

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Pate also explained that plans are underway to expand the PHCs from 8,300 to 17,000 through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and make them functional to deliver essential services.

He said, “I’m very pleased to say that there is N260 billion sitting right now at the states’ level. All the states of the federation have been mobilised for the revitalisation of the PHCs. This is a resource that is from the International Development Association, either, and from the Basic HealthCare Provision Fund because when we said we’re going to revitalize our PHCs, the key to doing that is the resources to be available.

“So a lot of the effort that has been going on over the last several months is to mobilise the resources to be able to deploy and the states have this N260bn in their pockets available.”

The Minister further stated that the government would provide the states with guidelines for the implementation of the revitalisation and equipment of medical facilities:

“Before this administration, we had looked at the previous years’ audits of how some of these resources were being utilised, and we realised that there were major gaps in several states, and we addressed it through the National Economic Council through the Governor’s Forum.

“I want to call out our state governors they leaned in because they saw the direction that the President has laid out through the Health Sector Renewal Initiative and the compact that they signed, and they acted to ensure that we remedy so that the resources would go to intended purposes.

“When we disbursed the BHCPF, we do that in public and we would put hotlines for Nigerians to report if any of the resources are being misused. We asked the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to keep an eye on it because the implementation is at the state level.

“We raised the resources but the states have to implement, but we have to make sure that the resources go to the intended objectives in terms of infrastructure equipment”, Pate said.

In the area of improving local production of pharmaceuticals and other medical essentials, the Minister informed that the President’s policies had attracted foreign investors who were ready to manufacture on Nigerian soil:

“He approved the presidential initiative to unlock the healthcare value chain in October. Since then, we have made steady progress in terms of unlocking Nigeria’s healthcare value chain.

“The first policy measure is a draft executive order which we have now produced, and finalised, and if the President assents, it would reduce the barriers in terms of import of raw materials, import of equipment for pharmaceuticals and devices so that Nigerians will be able to produce what we need, whether it’s syringes or needles, whether it’s generic pharmaceuticals and also test kits, and long-lasting insecticide-treated nets for malaria.

“We had mentioned that bed nets that we use for malaria are produced outside that, why can’t we produce them here?”, he asked.

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