Teaching Hospitals Are Overburdened, Lack Proper Funding – Adewole

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, says the problem with the nation’s tertiary health institutions is overcrowding and lack of proper funding.

The minister said this on Tuesday when he appeared before the Senate explaining the state of healthcare facilities in teaching hospitals.

Professor Adewole said the problem with the nation’s tertiary health institutions is overcrowding, not the poor quality of healthcare.

He also stressed that teaching hospitals are overburdened because of lack of proper funding and attention to primary healthcare.

 READ ALSO: 

 Health Minister Appears Before Senate Over State Of Teaching Hospitals

Senate Asks Health Minister To Appear Before It On Tuesday

According to the Minister, only 10% of Nigerians need to go to teaching hospitals, but that is not the case as Nigerians have no confidence in primary and secondary healthcare systems, thereby opting to go straight to tertiary hospitals which are only supposed to take care of complicated cases.

He also accused the state governments of abandoning healthcare to the Federal government, pointing out that 14 states are yet to show interest in the basic healthcare fund.

“Over the last couple of years, we have had a challenge. We can describe the health care as a pyramid, with Primary Health Care at the base, Secondary at middle and Tertiary at the top.

“Only 10% of Nigerians who require care would need to go to tertiary institutions.

“For them to function effectively, they depend on functional primary and secondary health care centres. If these two levels of care are functional, about 90% of ailments will be taken care of.

“For us in Nigeria, they represent the topmost and by design are expected to manage complex and complicated cases.

“We have 22 teaching hospitals in the country and 17 specialist hospitals under the direct body of the Federal Government. The teaching hospitals constitute the apex of health care in any country.

“We can compare it to a building — primary health as the foundation, the secondary as the wall and the tertiary as the roof.

“The problem we have is that the foundation is bad and the wall is weak and we are only concerned about the roof. If we invest in the Primary Health Care, a lot of people would not have a cause to go to the Tertiary,” he explained.

The Senate had earlier summoned Adewole to appear before it on Tuesday over what the Senate President Bukola Saraki described as the deteriorating conditions of facilities at teaching hospitals across the nation.

The Senators took turns to quiz the Minister on the state of healthcare infrastructure all over the country.

Below are some senators that quizzed the Health Minister and the questions asked:

“The area that worries me is that of the medical students who graduate from medical schools and have nowhere to do their houseman-ship. How do we make sure our medical students always get where to practice?” — Senator Sam Egwu.

“Do we still have sanitary inspectors, if so are they allowed to carry out their duties and are the CMD’s allowed to act independently?” — Senator Francis Alimikhena.

“What can be done about ‘brain drain’ amongst doctors and nurses which is affecting the efficiency of primary, secondary and tertiary hospital?” — Senator Gbenga Ashafa.

“Is there a way to exclude teaching hospitals, Secondary hospitals and primary hospitals from paying electricity bills? Would it improve the services of the hospitals?” — Senator Shehu Sani.

“UCH used to be one of the best hospitals but now it’s a caricature of what it used to be. Is there a programme where we bring our teaching hospitals to the standard it used to be so they stand out?” –Senator Olusola Adeyeye.

“How can we equip our hospitals to the standard that makes Nigerians travel out for treatment?” — Senator Victor Umeh.

“Since assumption of offfice, what have you done on the matter i met you on personality (N300m paid to the Federal Ministry of Health) during the Jonathan regime.”– Senator Kabir Marafa.

“Can you explain to Nigerians on how Lagos Teaching hospital independently had power without the interference of public power and how other states can tap into it.”– Senator Kabir Marafa

FG Vows To Improve Primary Health Care Delivery In Nigeria

 

The Federal Government has vowed to improve primary healthcare delivery for Nigerians, in a bid to make it easily accessible across the country.

Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) made the pledge on Thursday during the first quarter review meeting of the agency held in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.

“We have resolved to do everything possible to ensure that Nigerians access primary healthcare in a way that confers on them compassion, integrity, and dignity from all primary health workers,” he said.

READ ALSO: HIV/AIDS: Almost A Million Infected Nigerians Not On Treatment – Presidency

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr.  Hillary Agbo told journalists that the summit was necessary to improve on primary health care in an accountable and transparent manner.

According to him, the meeting follows the Basic Health Provision Fund approved by the Federal government last year.

Similarly, the host and Executive secretary of Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Mohammed Adis, said participants were ready to achieve the nation’s dream of universal health coverage.

“The dream of Nigeria is to have universal health coverage, and you cannot talk about universal health coverage without primary health care because the pathway to universal health coverage is primary health care.

“We are ready to ensure that Nigeria achieves that goal, that dream of universal health coverage,” he stated.

Spain Approves Free Healthcare For Illegal Migrants

some illegal migrants (file)

 

Spain’s parliament approved Thursday a draft law tabled by the country’s new Socialist government which restores free healthcare for undocumented migrants, a right removed in 2012 by the former conservative administration.

While the Socialists have a minority of just 84 seats in the 350-seat assembly, the measure introduced by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez shortly after he came to power in June passed with 177 votes in favour and 133 against.

It grants undocumented migrants access to public health “under the same conditions as people who have Spanish nationality.”

Sanchez’s conservative predecessor Mariano Rajoy withdrew the right to public healthcare for undocumented migrants in 2012 as part of a programme of spending cuts as Spain grappled with a financial crisis.

Several regional governments responded by giving undocumented migrants access to healthcare and Rajoy’s government in 2015 reinstated access to emergency healthcare.

“Health does not know borders, identity papers, or work permits,” Health Minister Carmen Monton told lawmakers before the measure was voted on.

Sanchez, who came to power after ousting Rajoy in a no-confidence vote, made global headlines in June by offering to take in a rescue ship that was drifting in the Mediterranean sea with 629 migrants on board. Italy and Malta had refused to let it dock.

The law resorting healthcare for undocumented migrants was approved with the support of the coalition of far-left and smaller regional parties which backed the Socialists in their no-confidence vote against Rajoy.

Conservative lawmaker Teresa Angulo accused the government of “opening wide the doors of Spain to health tourism”.

Parliament also passed a law creating over 300 public jobs aimed at processing migrants and asylum seekers.

Spain has become the main entry point for migrants arriving in Europe, after Italy and Greece. Over 33,000 migrants have arrived in Spain by sea and land so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

AFP

FG To Improve Healthcare System With Technology, Says Osinbajo

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Federal Government is targeting the use of technology to improve the nation’s healthcare system.

He made this known on Thursday while giving a keynote address during the 58th Annual Delegates Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).

“We believe that the next phase of health-care development in Nigeria is going to depend a great deal on technology and innovation,” the VP said.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Quality Healthcare, an Indication for Good Governance’ he stated some of the Government’s plans to “incentivise private sector investment in healthcare”.

According to him, while it has become clear that the Federal Government must improve the levels of immunisation coverage in Nigeria, among other things, he said “a robust national health insurance scheme will be required alongside private sector and donor partnership funding in order to truly move the needle in healthcare funding in Nigeria.”

Among some of the steps the Federal Government is currently taking in that direction, he said it has launched an aggressive strategic plan to attain 80 per cent immunization coverage by the year 2020 through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

He also noted that they have, “through the National Sovereign Investment Authority invested 20 million dollars in three of our tertiary hospitals, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital in Kano and the Federal Medical Centre in Umuahia, Abia state to establish world-class cancer treatment and medical diagnostic facilities.

“We intend to follow these with targeted interventions in the treatment of heart and kidney disorders in particular,” he stated further.

Osinbajo also noted that already, the CBN Hospital Intervention Fund has helped fund some hospitals especially some of those that have shown track-records for game-changing activity in health-care.

Other speakers at the event were the President of the NMA, Mr Mike Ogirima, the President of the Senate Bukola Saraki, a former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd).

Nigeria’s Healthcare System Is Overburdened, Says Expert

 

Worried by the state of the nation’s healthcare delivery system, a medical pratititioner has expressed concern of the high rate of medical treatement abroad.

Dr. Ify Aniebo said that Nigeria’s healthcare system is overburden which has led to the lack of  facilities and doctors to attend to patients in the hospital.

According to her, access to healthcare in Nigeria is not equitable in all areas especially people living in the rural areas where they can’t afford to get a good hospital because of bad roads or transportation.

“People living in the rural areas have that challenge; especially those living in the north to get to a health facility could take up to 2 hours because of bad roads or lack of transportation”.

She attributed these factors to maternal maternity which she noted is affecting the country and Nigeria has been ranked as one of the worst maternal maternity case.

Dr Aniebo also noted that in some cases the amount of money paid is not measured up to the quality of healthcare delivered in the country which in such cases is caused by wrong diagnosis or negligence.

She said there is a lot to do more than just investing in the system but rather in the health professionals.

While comparing doctors in the country and those abroad, she added that these doctors abroad invest in themselves thereby doing alot of research which Nigerian doctors lack.

“Research cost money, when you travel abroad you get good health care because most of these people do reserach which feeds back into the quality of healthcare that is given”.

She called for an improvement in the health personals to help boost the system in the country.

 

Residents Of Delta Community Lament Poor Health Care System

Delta Govt. To Partner With NDDC On Projects

 

Residents of Bomadi and Ughelli North Local Government Areas of Delta state have raised serious concerns over what they’ve described as poor healthcare systems in their community.

According to them, the Bomadi General Hospital is the only hospital that serves communities in the entire local government and its environs and for many months now, the hospital has remained under renovation.

The state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa who inspected the site on Friday, explained that part of the reason for the slow pace of the project was inadequate funds.

But he has promised to mobilize funds for its immediate completion.

“The contractors need to work on a gradual basis because if they don’t, then, it means that services will be shut down but I have made a stern promise that I will try to raise mobilisation for the contractor because he has been working with his own funds,” the governor said.

The inspection was part of his ongoing tour around the 25 Local Government Areas of the state to commission and inspect projects completed and under construction respectively.

Subsequently, he moved to inspect the on-going rehabilitation of the Urban Water Supply Scheme, general hospital, ultra-modern market and other projects.

Britain Hits Back At Trump Over Attack On Healthcare System

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: HO / AFP

Britain reacted angrily on Monday to a tweet from US President Donald Trump attacking its public healthcare system in the latest spat to strain US-UK ties, casting further doubt on his possible visit to London.

“The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working,” Trump wrote in an early morning tweet.

“Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks!”

The tweet came after thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday in support of the state-funded National Health Service (NHS), which is straining under the weight of winter demand.

One possible explanation for Trump’s criticism was an appearance by Brexit champion Nigel Farage, a personal friend of the president, on Fox News earlier Monday where he talked about the NHS.

British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt issued a sharp rebuke, tweeting: “I may disagree with claims made on that march but not ONE of them wants to live in a system where 28m people have no cover.

“NHS may have challenges but I’m proud to be from the country that invented universal coverage — where all get care no matter the size of their bank balance,” he wrote.

NHS staffing levels have been in crisis for months, an issue made worse by a winter flu outbreak.

Despite its current woes, the NHS, which was created after World War II, is a revered institution and Trump’s comments prompted widespread resentment.

“Wrong. People were marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it,” tweeted Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, in a reference to the ruling conservatives.

“Healthcare is a human right,” he added.

‘Divisive, incorrect rhetoric’ 

The People’s Assembly, an anti-austerity campaign group that organised the demonstration, also wrote an open letter to Trump defending the NHS.

“It has been a shining example to the world of what can be achieved when we put the needs of the collective good over the interests of a few wealthy individuals,” the letter read.

“Unfortunately our current government have been persuaded to increasingly adopt policies which represent those of your government,” it said.

“We don’t agree with your divisive and incorrect rhetoric. No thanks,” the letter said.

Trump’s own attempts to reverse his predecessor’s healthcare reform — known as Obamacare — twice ended in failure, before his party succeeded in eliminating a key element, the so-called “individual mandate” as part of tax reform.

The measure required individuals to buy health insurance as a way to lower costs by ensuring that healthy people were part of insurance pools.

The “special relationship” between Britain and the United States has shown some signs of strain since Trump came to office a year ago.

Prime Minister Theresa May was the first foreign leader to visit Trump following his inauguration in January last year, when she invited him to make a state visit to Britain, hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.

The trip has been delayed, however, and Trump recently pulled out of a plan to open the new US embassy in London, a move British officials blamed on threats of mass protests.

Trump has also angered the British with previous controversial tweets, including retweeting an extremist group’s anti-Muslim propaganda and sparring with London mayor Sadiq Khan following a terror attack.

AFP

Trump Attacks Britain’s Public Healthcare System

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC
SAUL LOEB / AFP

US President Donald Trump on Monday attacked Britain’s public healthcare system in comments that are likely to call his much-delayed visit to the country further into doubt.

“The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working,” he wrote in an early morning tweet.

“Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks!”

The tweet came after thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday in support of the National Health Service, which is straining under the weight of winter demand.

NHS staffing levels have been in crisis for months, an issue made worse by a winter flu outbreak.

Despite its current woes, the National Health Service (NHS), which was created after World War II, is a revered institution and Trump’s comments are likely to stoke resentment.

The “special relationship” between Britain and the United States has shown some signs of strain since Trump came to office a year ago.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was the first foreign leader to visit Trump following his inauguration in January last year, when she invited him to make a state visit to Britain, hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.

The trip has been delayed, however, and Trump recently pulled out of a plan to open the new US embassy in London, a move British officials blamed on threats of mass protests.

Trump has also angered the British with previous controversial tweets, including retweeting an extremist group’s anti-Muslim propaganda and sparring with London mayor Sadiq Khan following a terror attack.

It is not certain why Trump chose to attack the NHS two days after the London protests.

Trump’s own attempts to reverse his predecessor’s healthcare reform, known as Obamacare, twice ended in failure, before his party succeeded in eliminating a key element — the so-called “individual mandate,” as part of tax reform.

The measure required individuals to buy coverage as a way to lower costs by ensuring that healthy people were part of insurance pools.

One possible explanation for Trump’s criticism was an appearance by Brexit champion Nigel Farage, a personal friend of the president, on Fox News earlier Monday in which he questioned the feasibility of universal healthcare and blamed the NHS’s predicament on immigrants.

AFP

Yobe Ultramodern Teaching Hospital Begins Operations

The Yobe State University Teaching Hospital established under the state’s present administration to improve healthcare services within the state and beyond, has commenced operations.

The ultramodern facility which has continued to attract patients across Yobe and other neighbouring states has a bed capacity of 200 patients.

The hospital administration has also begun induction for the recruited doctors, nurses and other health personnel in the hospital.

Located in Damaturu, the state capital, the hospital was established to complement the state specialists’ hospital and other health facilities considering the growing population and need for healthcare services in the emerging town.

Although, yet to be commissioned, it will also provide an opportunity for clinical experience for the students of the University Medical College, as it is equipped with state of the art facilities.

Addressing the personnel, the State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Mohammed Bello Kawuwa stressed that the present administration in the state has invested so much in the healthcare services and therefore, encouraged the workforce to adhere to the standard operating procedures to justify the huge investment.

“Governor Gaidam has invested so much in the health facilities across the state and we must be professional by putting in our best to ensure the huge investment is justified.”

According to him, traditional hospital culture and norms must be changed so that health facilities across the state will provide lasting memories in the minds of patients.

He also charged the new staff never to compromise quality and to work as a team for the attainment of the overall goals.

“We must be timely and punctual in our daily routines and we must ensure a cordial and friendly relationship with our patients. That is the only way we will meet international best practice,” he said.

Abia Targets Better Healthcare For Senior Citizens With PPP

In a bid to provide affordable quality healthcare services to senior citizens residing in Abia, the state government through a public-private partnership has initiated an integrated health care network design.

This programme, at Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, would cater for diverse health challenges of the senior citizens and ensure free home health care delivery service for the vulnerable, aged 59 and above, across the 17 local government area of the state.

It is a health initiative aimed at improving the lives of elderly and addressing the numerous challenges the elderly face, including access to quality health care services, limited resources among others.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu said taking care of the elderly had become one of the priorities of his administration.

He said, “If we are able to take care of the most vulnerable members of the society, namely the children from one year to 59 years old as well as those from 70 years and beyond, it is possible for us to improve on the health indices.

“Because if we can prevent the elderly from coming to the hospital in the first place, either through diet, monitoring of blood pressure and other parameters, by taking the health care services to their doorsteps and caring for them, then we will reduce the number of people coming to the hospital, the amount of money their children will spend, as well as reduce their frustration and probably elongate their lives.”

At the venue of the launch of the programme on Thursday, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who was represented by the Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Dr.Chuku Abali, said the initiative would improve the lives of the elderly, strengthen the social welfare and bridge the gap on the numerous health challenges.

Beyond praising the programme, he called on the authorities to ensure it is not abused.

The minister said, “I enjoin you to endeavor to monitor this scheme, it is laudable, we shall explore areas of assistance.

“For these elderly ones, this is a stage of life where resources are few, and capacity both functional and physiologically are reduced and dependence increases, a stage where no government want to turn away from.

“For this government to have deem it necessary to do more for this vulnerable category of our population is indeed commendable”.

A senior citizen and beneficiary of the programme, Mr.Augustine Alaribe, commended the programme, saying, “Today, we will not suffer to go about looking for hospitals and doctors to attend to us when we are sick and have no one to take care of us, because the Governor has put instruments on the ground to take care of the challenges.”

Under the public private partnership which is worth N200m, ambulances, transportation, trained health care givers among others would be provided to care for the elderly.

It is also expected to create jobs.

The Administrator, Free Home Healthcare Initiative, Mr. Emenike Chucks Osondu, said that the health care network is designed to change the narrative in health care delivery services for the elderly and ensure they enjoy their old age with less hardship.

“We have trained doctors, nurses, medical social workers, physiotherapists, and all that care to do this job, I must say that the youths are excited to do this job,” he said.

President’s Medical Trips: Aisha Buhari Laments Fate Of “Common Man”

President’s Medical Trips: Aisha Buhari Laments Fate Of “Common Man”
File photo

The Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, on Monday decried the poor state of healthcare delivery in Nigeria and what it portends for Nigerians.

Recalling the recent trips made by the President to London for medical attention, Mrs Buhari wondered what would happen to Nigerians who could not afford to travel abroad for treatment and are forced to turn to poorly equipped hospitals.

“If somebody like Mr President can spend several months outside Nigeria, then you wonder what will happen to a common man on the street in Nigeria,” she said at the opening of a two-day Stakeholders meeting on RMNCAH+N –Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by her pet project, Future Assured which has all state governors’ wives, development partners, primary healthcare coordinators and other state holders in attendance.

Mrs Buhari illustrated her concern with her experience after a recent visit to the State House Medical Centre. She had gone there for treatment, after rejecting advise to travel abroad for better care.

READ ALSO: Aisha Buhari Calls For Probe Of State House Medical Centre

She said, “Few weeks ago I was sick as well, they advised me to take the first flight out to London (but) I refused to go. I said I must be treated in Nigeria because there is a budget for an assigned clinic to take care of us.”

Unfortunately, she discovered that despite the huge budgetary allocation to the centre, it wasn’t properly equipped.

Mrs Buhari, therefore, called for the probe of the budget for the medical centre.

“If the budget is N100 million, we need to know how the budget is spent. Along the line I insisted they call Aso Clinic to find out if the X-ray machine is working, they said it is not working. They didn’t know I am the one that was supposed to be in that hospital at that very time,” she said.

“I had to go to a hospital that was established by foreigners in and out 100 percent. What does that mean?”

She also faulted ongoing construction at the medical centre, suggesting it was misplaced priority.

This much she told the Chief Medical Director of the State House Medical Centre, Dr Hussain Munir, who was also at the event.

“I’m sure Dr Munir will not like me saying this but I have to say it out,” she said.

“As the Chief Medical Director, there are a lot of constructions going on in this hospital but there is no single syringe there what does that mean? Who will use the building? We have to be good in reasoning. You are building new buildings and there is no equipment, no consumables in the hospital and the construction is still going on.”

To turn the situation around and improve healthcare delivery in the country, she called for urgent action.

“I think is high time for us to do the right thing. If something like this can happen to me no need for me to ask the governors wives what is happening in their states. This is Abuja and this is the highest seat of government, and this is the Presidential Villa,” she said.

For her, the problem is not one of poor policy, but one of ineffective policy implementation and the mindset of those responsible for providing health facilities.

“One of the speakers (at the event) has already said we have very good policies in Nigeria, in fact, we have the best policies in Africa. Yes of course we have but the implementation has been the problem,” she said.

“So, we need to change our minds set and do the right thing.”

Despite Major Setback, Trump Predicts Big Healthcare Surprise

Despite a major setback in the United States Senate, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the Republican healthcare bill was moving along well and predicted a “big surprise”.

In a big hit to a seven-year quest to undo Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday abandoned plans to get the bill passed this week.

Trump, who met with Republican senators on Tuesday made his optimistic comments to reporters at the White House on Wednesday while meeting with players from the Chicago Cubs, the 2016 World Series baseball champions.

Trump later said he did not think U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer was serious about asking for a meeting for all 100 U.S. senators to negotiate health care changes.

“Healthcare is working along very well. You’re gonna have a big surprise with a great health care package. So now they’re happy,” Trump said.

When asked what he meant by ‘big surprise’, he said, “I think you’re going to have a great, great surprise. It’s going to be great.”