OrderPaperToday – The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole has listed 12 states that refused to register for basic health care provision fund to help primary healthcare centers.

The states are: Kebbi, Jigawa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Gombe, Rivers, Borno, Zamfara, Ondo, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Ogun and Sokoto states.

Adewole made this known on Tuesday when he appeared in the red chamber to brief Senators on the dwindling state of health care facilities across the country.

According to the Minister, one of the major challenges faced in the sector is as a result of overcrowding of tertiary health care centers which are the teaching hospitals.

The teaching hospitals by design constitute the apex of healthcare in any country and are only expected to receive referrals and manage complicated cases.

Adewale noted that for teaching hospitals to function, they depend on primary healthcare centres and secondary healthcare centres to operate optimally so that only 10 percent of Nigerians are visit tertiary institutions.

However, over the last couple of years, “we have a major challenge, the healthcare system can be described as a pyramid. The primary care centre at the base, secondary at the middle and tertiary at the tip.” Adewole said.

He continued: “The problem we have is that the foundation is bad (primary healthcare), the wall is weak (secondary) and we are only concerned about the roof (tertiary).

“Going by media reports, Nigerians have no confidence in primary and secondary, everybody will go to a teaching hospital.”

As a result of this development, the Ministry of health developed a guideline to have all states registered for the basic healthcare provision fund but only 22 states have shown interest.

The Minister listed requirements each state must have to register: possess a primary health agency board, state health insurance scheme and counterpart funding of N100 million.

He explained that the fund is structured in a way that money will flow from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the “primary healthcare facilities bypassing all obstacles and last week we succeeded in moving out funds from central bank to the agencies and from the agencies it will go to the primary healthcare.”

The scheme will allow for free ante-natal care, free delivery, malaria treatment, screening for tuberculosis, hypertension and diabetes.

He appealed to Senators to prevail on the governors who have not signed up while praising the national assembly for the approval of 1% Universal Health care fund in 2018 budget.

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