By Kingston Obung Calabar
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has lamented the problem of inadequate doctors in the country to render the level of medical services to Nigerians that the President Muhammadu-led federal government would want to see. Adewole made the remarks in Calabar, yesterday during the Cross River state’s organised health summit, with the theme, ‘Translating Health Policies and Plans into Action.
” Th e Minister said the federal government was poised to establish Primary Health Centres (PHC) in all the local government area of the country as foundation for healthcare provision, but that there are limited number of doctors to go round the whole country.
He said: “PHC remains the foundation for the provision of basic healthcare services in Nigeria. Th e current administration has also, in setting out health agenda, centred it around the provision of functional PHC in all political wards of the federation with the ultimate objective of ensuring universal coverage for all Nigerians.
“Th ere are three critical factors in the health system – the human resources, commodities as well as data. Without the three of them we really do not have a health system. No matter how good our plans are, it takes human resources to translate those plans into action.
“Attention should be given to human resources in terms of the existing gap and number, skills and distribution, and I am quite happy that the document is in alignment with our existing policies because doctors alone cannot do it and we do not even have enough doctors to go round the entire country.
“We need the nurses, midwives; we need community health workers in order that we work eff ectively for Nigerians to have trust in our health system. Developing the state strategic plans and translating it into action will require enormous political will and commitment.
We must cultivate and sustain partnership with development partners.” Cross River state Governor, Ben Ayade, in his remarks, said his administration was on a “rescue mission to revamp and revitalise the economy” and that the AyadeCare Health scheme guarantees easy and cheap access to quality healthcare.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu, the governor disclosed that his administration had commenced the complete renovation and upgrading of all existing primary health centres across the 18 local government area of the state.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong, in her remarks, said the state was “building strong and high quality health system which is accessible and aff ordable for the people of Cross River state.”