By Emman Ovuakporie and Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services Wednesday said that over eighty per cent of the Public Health Centres, PHC, in the country were not functional.
The Committee headed by Rep Chike Okafor has also called for the repositioning of National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) and National Food Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC), even as the committee may consider the option of unbundling some of the public healths for effective delivery.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Committee in Abuja, Okafor emphasised the need for urgent formulation of short – term and long term work plan in order to guide the activities of the committee.
To achieve the feat, Okafor reiterated the commitment of the Committee to “engage State Governments on equipping primary health care centres in scattered in different towns and villages all over the country.
According to him, “We have to come up with strategies on how to arrest the issue of medical tourism in our country and ensure that our health facilities are working so that Nigerians can enjoy good and qualitative health services.”
Okafor who represents Ehime Mbano, Ihitte Uboma and Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, commended the intervention of United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) to establish primary health care centres in every ward throughout the country.
He assured that the committee will interact with UNICEF with the view to ensure that “Nigerians have access to such medical centres and enjoy the services being provided at such centres.
“Statistics shows that we have over 32,000 health care facilities in the country but only 20% are functional. The question is how can we make these 32,000 health care facilities to be fully functional?”
Okafor also emphasised the need for the committee and relevant agencies to encourage Nigerians to donate blood.
He said that a bill on blood donation will be presented on the floor of the House, with the view to “encourage Honourable Speaker to lead blood donation initiative by donating blood while honourable members follow suit.”