The House of Representatives has advised the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the health sector and allocate significant votes to it in the 2024 budget estimates.This followed a motion by Rep. Fayinka Oluwatoyin (APC-Lagos) during plenary in Abuja.
The motion was titled, “Need for the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) to partner with relevant health agencies in states and Local Governments to ensure the functionality of Primary Healthcare Centres.”
Oluwatoyin, member representing Mushin Federal Constituency II of Lagos State, opined that Nigeria, being the largest population in Africa, is faced with alarmingly high rates of dilapidated health facilities.
He affirmed it was estimated that Nigeria has about 39,983 hospitals and clinics as of 2020, with the primary healthcare centers accounting for about 34,000 which is 86 percent.
He, however, said that only 20 percent of these primary healthcare centers are functional, particularly in rural areas lacking adequate facilities and staffing.
Meanwhile, he said the lack of medical equipment, drugs, qualified personnel, electrical systems, beds, and road networks had increased the death toll in healthcare centers.
This, according to him, necessitated revitalization with a budget of US$80 million for additional bed spaces.
According to him, the Federal and State Health Ministries’ inaccurate representation of primary healthcare centers hindered proper budgeting and access to quality healthcare in rural areas.
This, according to him, often leads to premature deaths.
The House, in its resolution, advised the Federal Ministry of Health to encourage States to resuscitate the comatose primary healthcare programs at the grassroots level.
It urged the ministry to also provide qualitative and affordable Medicare for the masses.
The House therefore, urged the Federal Ministry of Health, in partnership with State ministries, LGAs and other stakeholders to establish a task force to eradicate sharp medical malpractice.
This, he said should particularly be in the rural areas and furnish the Committee on Healthcare Services with the summary reports in evaluating the standard of the primary Healthcare Centre from 2016-2022.