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Minister explains reason for collapse of health sector



Doctors seeking greener pastures abroad is no brain drain, Health Minister says

Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole has offered an explanation for the falling standards of the health sector in Nigeria, especially the primary and secondary health care system.

The Minister during an interactive session with the Senate on conditions of Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria on Tuesday said Teaching Hospitals are primarily designed to accept referrals from primary and secondary hospitals.

He however said that it was unfortunate that primary and secondary health care centres were no longer functioning, noting that even minor sicknesses were taken to Teaching Hospitals now.

According to Adewole, the collapse of the primary and secondary health care system in Nigeria is putting pressure on Teaching Hospitals which cannot cope with increasing numbers of cases.

The Health Minister said; “Teaching Hospitals are designed to accept referrals from Hospitals, but over time, primary and secondary hospitals are no more. Minor sicknesses like headache and malaria are taken to Teaching Hospitals now.”

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“Over the last couple of years, we have a challenge of infrastructure with a bad foundation. Under (Ibrahim) Babangida administration, the then Minister of Health, late Dr. Olukoye Ramsome Kuti was committed to Primary Health system because it was close to the people.”

“(Olusegun) Obasanjo administration which came later did little to advance the Primary health care system. His government concentrated on Tertiary Medicare.”

“Even media reports pointed that government has no business with primary and secondary health care, and people began to go to University Teaching Hospitals.”

The comments by the Minister of Health comes after the FG disbursed a total of N12.7 billion to three health agencies from the N55bn Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) in the 2018 budget.

Benefiting agencies are; National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) who received the sum of N6.5bn, N5.8bn, and N327m respectively through their TSA accounts at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the weekend.

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