The federal government is committing another N28 billion to several intervention projects across the country to further strengthen healthcare delivery at the tertiary, specialist hospitals and the national AIDS control programmes. Flagging-off the projects in Abuja recently, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said these special intervention projects which are the product of consultations with stakeholders in the health sector was meant to kick-start distinct activities to strengthen the health system and service delivery.
The minster listed the Tertiary Health Institution Project to include; revitalization of 774 Primary Healthcare Centres in each local governments area (1 PHC per LGA); purchase of anti-retroviral drugs for 20,000 eligible Nigerians; nationwide screening of common cancers (Cervix, breast and prostate); 10,000 free cataract surgeries (that is 250 cataract surgeries per state) and free treatment of 800 patients with confirmed diagnosis of hepatitis C infection. He said that it was due to an urgent need to intervene and smoothen up the operation of these federal health institutions that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) designed this tertiary health institution intervention as a means to address some of these critical challenges as enshrined in the act establishing it. Core objectives of the Tertiary Health Institutions Intervention Project, according to the minister, is : “to strengthen and reposition the Tertiary Health Institutions for better performance, to make the facilities self sustainable and attractive to a large number of patients they cater for; to strengthen their research capabilities; to reduce medical tourism arising from obsolete equipment and infrastructures; and ultimately to facilitate the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.” Adewole said that 21 Federal Teaching Hospitals, 31 Federal Medical Centres, four Specialist Hospitals and 14 Fistula and Cleft lip/palate Centres across the six geopolitical zones will benefit from the intervention. “Under the project, each of the Federal Teaching Hospitals will receive Three Hundred Million Naira (N300,000,000.00), while the Specialist Hospitals will receive Two Hundred Million Naira (N200,000,000.00) each. The Federal Medical Centres and the Fistula Centres will each receive One Hundred and Twenty Million Naira (N120, 000,000.00) and Fifty Million Naira (N50, 000,000.00) respectively. “May I inform you that selection of these facilities was based on a needs assessment of all federally owned institutions made by NHIS. The needs assessment was based on an initial request made by NHIS to institutions and the subsequent submission of challenges by benefitting institutions,” he said