President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that only 5% of Nigerians have health insurance which is against the recommended 90% coverage by the World Health Organisation
He made this remarks during the flag off of the primary health care revitalisation program and commissioning of the Kuchigoro primary health care centre as a model primary health care centre in Abuja.
He stressed that the revitalization programme is in alignment with the agenda of his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) who promised to provide succor to the poor while at the same time providing for all other segments of the society.
According to him, his administration would focus more on the people living in the rural areas and the vulnerable population in the society such as women, children under 5years of age and the elderly in collaboration with national and international partners.
President Buhari said his presence at the flag off demonstrates his administration’s commitment to put health of Nigerians as a top priority.
He said ; Our goal of revitalizing the Primary Health Care Centres is to ensure that quality basic health care services are delivered to majority of Nigerians irrespective of their location in the country.
“Let me state clearly, that this revitalization programme is in alignment with the agenda of our party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). We did promise to provide succor to the poor while at the same time providing for all other segments of the society. I am aware that out of pocket payment for health constitute over 70% of total health expenditure. This is more than the globally recommended 30-40%.
“However, only less than 5% of the total population is covered by any kind of health insurance or risk protection mechanism which is against the recommended 90% coverage by the World Health Organisation. Our vision is to reverse this unsatisfactory situation and better care for the poor and needy.”
In recognition of his administration promise to revitalize one Primary Health Care Centre in each of the political wards in the country, President Buhari said they have commenced the revitalization of one Primary Health Care in each senatorial zone in the country.
He further stated that the vision of his government is to revitalise 10,000 Primary Health Care Facilities in Nigeria using a phased approach noting that the first phase of this approach is what they are flagging off today as it will signal the revitalization of the first 109 Primary Health Care facilities across the 36 states and the FCT.
“Kuchigoro Primary Health Care Centre has been renovated as a model primary health care centre where quality health care services will be obtained at little or no cost to the beneficiaries.
“This is through the collaboration of Government (Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Federal Capital Development Administration and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital) and Partners such as General Electric and Sterling Bank,” he added.
President Buhari assured Nigerians that Government will continue to ensure that great numbers of Nigerians have access to quality basic health care services.
Accordingly, he remarked that the provision in the National Health Act, 2014 for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund is in the process of being implemented and also assured Nigerians that his administration will fulfill all the promises made to the people.
He further explained that; The provision of quality health care service will reverse the poor health indices in the country. I am hopeful that our women will no more be dying needlessly during childbirth; our children will no more be dying needlessly as a result of vaccine preventable diseases or common ailment; access to health care will not be limited because of lack of money to pay.
He commended the Honourable Minister of Health and his team for ensuring the flag off of this programme and called on all state governors to see this as a call to action to make revitalization of Primary Health Care Centres a vital part of their agenda.
According to him, “Our Government has also through the Saving One Million Lives Initiative, provided 1.5 Million USD to each state government and FCT to ensure quality health care to women and children.
“I want to thank our development partners especially, the United States Government, the World Bank, the European Union and Department For International Development for supporting the health sector in providing quality health service to our people.
“I want to also thank our National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Sterling Bank and General Electric for the renovation and provision of the necessary equipment including an ambulance at Kuchigoro Primary Health Care Centre. We have set up an accountability mechanism to ensure that this Primary Health Care Facility remains functional.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on all stakeholders to ensure that this facility continues to work optimally by using it and ensuring that the health professionals are delivering quality services. Health Workers should also play their parts in ensuring the sustainability of this model Primary Health Care. I will also want to personally charge health workers to rededicate themselves to their duties. Our Administration will continue to promote the welfare of all in the Health Sector.
“Now, I hereby formally flag off the Primary Health Care Revitalisation Programme and commission the renovated Kuchigoro Primary Health Care Centre,” he stated.