In order to strengthen health system and service delivery in the country, the Federal Government has committed N28 billion into special health intervention projects.
The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole made this known while flagging off the Health Intervention Projects held at the Conference Room of the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja.
According to him, these special intervention projects include : “Tertiary health institution project; revitalisation of 774 primary healthcare centres in each local governments area (1 PHC per LGA); purchase of anti-retroviral drugs for 20,000 eligible Nigerians; nationwide screening of common cancers (Cervix, breast and prostate); 10,000 free cataract surgeries (i.e. 250 cataract surgeries per state) and free treatment of 800 patients with confirmed diagnosis of hepatitis C infection”.
He further said that, the tertiary hospitals are designed as facilities at the peak of the healthcare system, where most complicated medical conditions are handled. Unfortunately these facilities are today faced with numerous challenges including: Inadequate equipment for tertiary care services; underfunding arising from budgetary and fiscal constraints; and dilapidated infrastructures amongst others.
“Over the years the Federal Government had initiated a number of projects to assist the nation’s tertiary institutions. Despite government’s special interventions and annual budgetary appropriations, the delivery of healthcare services at these centres is hindered by overwhelming patient inflow in the face of critical operational challenges. The infrastructural challenges negatively impact on the healthcare delivery in these institutions,” the minister stressed.
Prof Adewole stated that there is an urgent need to intervene and smoothen up the operation of these Federal Health institutions, adding that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has designed this tertiary health institution intervention as a means to address some of these critical challenges as enshrined in the act establishing it.
He highlighted the core objectives of the tertiary health institutions intervention project: to strengthen and reposition the tertiary health institutions for better performance, to make the facilities self sustainable and attractive to large number of patients they cater for; to strengthen their research capabilities; to reduce medical tourism arising from obsolete equipment and infrastructures; and ultimately to facilitate the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.
According to him, the Federal Teaching Hospitals, Medical Centres and Specialist Hospitals across the six geopolitical zones that will benefit from the intervention include: 21 Federal Teaching Hospitals; 31 Federal Medical Centres; four Specialist Hospitals; and 14 Fistula and Cleft lip/palate Centre’s.
Under the project, each of the Federal Teaching Hospitals will receive N300,000,000.00, while the Specialist Hospitals will receive N200,000,000.00 each. The Federal Medical Centres and the Fistula Centres will each receive N120, 000,000.00)and N50, 000,000.00 respectively.