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10TH HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOWS TO TACKLE CHALLENGES IN PRIMARY HEALTHCARE                           

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10TH HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOWS TO TACKLE CHALLENGES IN PRIMARY HEALTHCARE                                                                                    22-11-23

By Sadiq Aminu                                                     The Speaker of the House of Representatives Dr Tajudeen Abbas, says the 10th House would build a strong partnership with development partners as well as effective legislation to improve primary healthcare.

Dr Abbas made the remark at a retreat for members of the house committee on healthcare services, in Abuja.

Represented by a member from Edo State Dr Adesua Osawuro, the speaker observed that as long as there is collaboration, primary healthcare services can work in Nigeria.

The chairman of the house committee Mr Dennis Idahosa, explained that the retreat was organized in pursuit of Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
through primary health care and the vital role of effective legislation in achieving the goal through the collaborative efforts of the executive and legislature.

Mr Idahosa observed that healthcare in general faces significant challenges in Nigeria ranging from dilapidated infrastructure, shortages of skilled health workers, limited demand for services, gross underfunding and painfully, perceived lack of absorptive capacity leading to low budget execution and return of funds.

Through effective legislation he said, the committee would ensure sustainable financing for healthcare, leverage oversight function to expedite investments in the education, training and retention of a competent health workforce as well as addressing the critical shortage of healthcare providers in underserved areas.

Idahosa added that the committee would also ensure the empowerment of individuals and communities to actively participate in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of primary healthcare services, ensuring that they are responsive to local needs and priorities.

The DG National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Dr Kelechi Ohiri, reiterated the mission of the NHIA to ensure financial access to quality healthcare for all Nigerians.

Dr Ohiri, represented by Dr Yakubu Amade, Director Standards and Quality Assurance, said it is imperative that stakeholders recognize the critical role played by both the legislative arm and the health agencies in transforming the healthcare landscape.

According to him, bridging the gap between the legislature and health agencies is crucial for enacting robust policies that address the healthcare needs of the populace.

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