House of Reps Calls for Urgent Action in the Health Sector

In a recent plenary session in Abuja, the House of Representatives has passed a compelling motion urging the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the country's healthcare sector.
House of rep
House of repthe punch

This call comes alongside the plea to allocate a substantial portion of the 2024 budget towards addressing the dire needs of the health sector.

The motion, brought forth by Fayinka Oluwatoyin, a member of the APC representing Lagos, bears the title, "Need for the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency to collaborate with relevant health agencies in states and Local Governments to ensure the functionality of Primary Healthcare Centres." Oluwatoyin, who represents the Mushin Federal Constituency II of Lagos State, raised a pressing concern about the deplorable state of healthcare facilities in Nigeria, particularly primary healthcare centers.

Oluwatoyin pointed out the alarming state of health infrastructure in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. He noted that in 2020, the country boasted a staggering number of 39,983 hospitals and clinics, of which primary healthcare centers accounted for a significant 86 percent, totaling around 34,000.

However, a mere 20 percent of these primary healthcare centers are functional, particularly in underserved rural areas where the lack of adequate facilities and staff is glaring.

The dire situation is exacerbated by the scarcity of essential medical equipment, medications, trained personnel, reliable electrical systems, beds, and proper road networks. This unfortunate reality has contributed to a distressing increase in mortality rates within healthcare facilities.

To address these grave concerns, Oluwatoyin proposed a revitalization initiative that would require an investment of US$80 million to create additional bed spaces.

Furthermore, Oluwatoyin lamented the inaccurate representation of primary healthcare centers by the Federal and State Health Ministries, which has impeded proper budgeting and restricted access to quality healthcare in rural areas, often leading to untimely and preventable deaths.

In response to these pressing issues, the House of Representatives has passed resolutions that call on the Federal Ministry of Health to work alongside State governments in resuscitating the ailing primary healthcare programs at the grassroots level.

Additionally, the House called upon the Federal Ministry of Health, in cooperation with State ministries, Local Government Authorities (LGAs), and other stakeholders, to establish a task force to eradicate rampant medical malpractice.

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