By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives has called for the removal of Primary Health Care from the control of Local Government councils saying the councils lack the required resources to cater for the health of Nigerians at the rural areas.
Chairman, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Rep Chike John Okafor, who stated this at an interactive meeting with the heads of health institutions and parastatals in Abuja, also decried the poor budgetary allocation to the health sector.
Chike said, “Majority of Nigerians reside in rural areas. We cannot afford to allow Local Government Council to manage primary health care centres. The truth of the matter is that local government councils do not have the resources to fund and equip these health centres.
“The situation must be reversed. The Federal Government must take over the management of primary health centres, equip them with necessary facilities and adequate personnel (doctors, nurses and pharmacists).”
“Most importantly, health professionals serving in these health centres must be given necessary incentives to live and work in rural areas”, the lawmaker added.
While he decried the poor budgetary allocation to the health sector, he said, “at the moment, only six per cent of the total budget is allocated to the health sector.”
Besides, he said “this is grossly inadequate considering our huge population standing at 170 million at the last count. This committee and the entire House will work with the executive to ensure that adequate budgetary provision is made for the health sector.”