States have abandoned healthcare – Minister of Health

Isaac Adewole, minister of health, has accused states of “literally” abandoning healthcare.

Briefing senators on the “poor quality” of teaching hospitals in the country, Adewole said the federal government has set a fund accessible to states in order to boost primary healthcare but 14 of them have not indicated interest.

The minister had been summoned by the lawmakers to tell them the efforts of the government in improving teaching hospitals.

“The states have literally abandoned healthcare such that everything is handled by the federal government. We cannot succeed with this,” he said.

“What we have through your support and I must commend you for approving the healthcare basic fund, it is a game changer. We have spent almost a year developing the guideline and over the last weeks, we have started a roll-out and as at the last count, 22 states have registered for the basic healthcare provision fund.

“What we have done with the fund is to structure it in a way that money will flow from central bank to the primary healthcare facilities bypassing all obstacles. Last week, we succeeded in moving out funds from central bank to the agencies and from the agencies, it will go to the primary healthcare.

“As of today, 14 states are yet to show interest in the basic health care provision fund and because senators represent the entire country, I want to quickly seek your permission to list the 14 states that are yet to register – Kebbi, Jigawa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Gombe, Rivers, Borno, Zamfara, Ondo, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Ogun and Sokoto.

“It is unfortunate because this is a game changer. There will be free ante-natal care, free delivery, take care of malaria, screen for tuberculosis, hypertension and diabetes.”

The minister said power supply is still a challenge in most of the tertiary institutions. He added that: “Some of the hospitals have water challenges.”