The Federal Government has released N420 million to each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory to revitalise Primary Health Care centres, Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, has said.
Adewole spoke on Monday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, shortly after he paid a working visit to the University College Hospital.
Adewole said the grant, which was released on July 14, 2016, was seed money from the Federal Government to the states to assist them to revitalise primary health care centres in their areas.
He expressed the hope that with a revitalised primary health care sector, “there will be a reversal of influx of patients into our tertiary health facilities in the states”.
Adewole said the states that perform well would be given more money in the subsequent years as a way of compensating them for a job well done.
He added that a monitoring mechanism had been put in place to ensure that the money was judiciously spent and that the revitalisation efforts were extended to the rural areas as well.
He said: “Each state should ensure that a local government has at least one comprehensive Primary Health Care centre.
“This will decongest teaching hospitals and make specialist hospitals to function very well.”
On his working visit, the minister explained that the UCH was capable of handling any medical case with the available manpower and facilities.
Adewole said the hospital was in the best position to reverse medical tourism based on the available manpower and facilities he saw in the hospital.
In a chat with newsmen at the end of the visit, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, Prof. Temitope Alonge, described the visit of the minister as “a home coming”.
Alonge said the minister was on loan to the Federal Government since he was the erstwhile provost of the College of Medicine and immediate past Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan.
He said: “We are particularly pleased to welcome the minister home.
“He has pledged support in funding and logistics to ensure that UCH becomes a referral centre of medical tourism in Nigeria.
“We are the best and we shall remain at the top in the delivery of quality health care in the country.”