COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF ONE-DAY POLICY DIALOGUE FOR MEMBERS OF RELEVANT COMMITTEES ON REVITALISATION OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE IN NIGERIA ORGANISED BY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEES ON HEALTH AND APPROPRIATIONS IN CONJUCTION WITH CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) AT IBOM HOTEL AND GOLF RESORTS, UYO AKWA IBOM STATE ON 8TH NOVEMBER, 2019.
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organised a Policy Dialogue on Primary Health Care Revitalisation in Nigeria under the aegis of a project titled “Reinvestment: Increasing Legislative Oversight on Primary Health Care in Nigeria”. The Dialogue aimed at deepening critical discussions on fact-findings from the site visits, while providing enabling platform for holistic recommendations in harnessing potential for revitalising Primary Health Care to inform appropriate legislative decisions and policy directions in the country. With special site visits to Nwaniba Primary Health Care Centre at Uruan Local Government Area and Ikot Ofon Ikono Primary Health Centre at Uyo Local Government Area, the Dialogue provoked critical discussions towards harnessing potential for revitalising Primary Health Care to inform appropriate legislative decisions and policy directions for the country. After exhaustive deliberations on various thematic issues such as “Revitalising Primary Healthcare: Understanding the Role of Legislature, Understanding the Minimum Standard for Adequate, Affordable and Accessible PHC in Nigeria, and PHC Revitalisation in the 8th Assembly: The Legislative Gaps and Opportunities, the following observations and recommendations were made:
- While Primary Health Care is the cornerstone of the health system, effective Primary Health Care services remain out of the reach of the people in many communities across the South-South, as observed in case of Ikot Ofon Ikono Primary Health Centre at Uyo Local Government Area.
- The existing disparity in health care budgetary allocation and implementation as against the statutory provision is major challenge at revitalising Primary Health Care in Nigeria.
- Efficient Primary Healthcare services is bedevilled by increasing financial gaps, bad governance and accountability, poor coordination, inadequate human resources, infrastructure decay.
- Revitalisation of Primary Health Care aims at achieving adequate coverage, qualitative and quantitative service delivery, and promotion of health and wellbeing at all levels.
- In the revitalisation of Primary Health Care, the legislators have such important roles as sufficient oversight on budgetary allocation, releases and implementation; women inclusiveness legislation; ensuring comprehensive healthcare package for constituents; appropriate community consultation in health policy implementation and transformation into legislation; assessment of the Primary Health Care efficiency in their respective consistencies.
- Inadequate functional Primary Health Care facilities with overstretched Secondary Health Care exacerbate the existing high patient-to-doctor ratio in the country.
- Strengthening oversight on enabling law like the National Health Act to create enabling platform for adequate budgetary allocation and human resources for Primary Health Care in Nigeria.
- Increasing legislative priority for effective implementation of the relevant components of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as enablers for adequate, accessible and affordable Primary Health Care services.
- Adequate compensation and incentives for health care workers to encourage efficient performance and appropriate orientation towards Primary Health Care service delivery at all levels.
- Enhanced coordination in the nation’s Primary Health Care system through strengthened oversight activities and supervision for more impact, efficiency and accountability.
- Encouraging local technical know-how in the production of drugs, medical equipment and spare parts to improve supplies and maintenance capabilities for cost reduction and high efficiency.
- Efficient utilisation of existing revenue resources in the country to provide for effective and sustainable Primary Health Care service at all levels.
- De-emphasising government control of Primary Health Care in the country through enhanced support for private sector investment and operationalization for efficient service provision and delivery at all levels.
- Strengthening human resource coordination and composition in the Primary Health Care for high impact and efficiency.
- Chike Okafor
- Dawodu Ayinla
- Babatunde Adejare
- Henry Nwawuba
- Abubakar abo