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……..HOLDS HEALTH INVESTMENT PLANNING MEETING
By: Ade Adeleke
Towards achieving the Minimum Service Package which is one of the nine pillars of Primary Healthcare Under One Roof and a prerequisite for assessing the Federal Government’s Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, Ondo health stakeholders have met to plan and look for sources of generating the sum of 23.9 billion Naira to fund the Minimum Service Package in four years.
At the investment planning meeting which held in Akure, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro who welcomed Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of line Ministries and Parastatals said the meeting is to further strengthen inter sectoral collaboration which is necessary to achieve the Minimum Service Package.
Dr Adegbenro opined that Primary Healthcare caters for between 70-80% of the disease burden of any population thus its a very important aspect of the Health Sector that has to be adequately funded and developed.
He added that the draft document on the MSP which had been put together and costed by experts is a four year funding plan that is brought before top level policy makers, government and non government actors to comprehensively and realistically plan the funding and look for investment windows for it.
The Health Commissioner urged stakeholders to contribute actively to the discussion on investment opportunities for Primary Healthcare as there is a global emphasis on fortifying the Primary Healthcare so as to reach the majority in rural communities.
He harped on the need to look outside government funding as it is over burdened and resources are dwindling.
In his welcome remark, the Executive Secretary of the Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Francis Akanbiemu said the planning and costing of the MSP started two months ago and it was really a tough and tedious exercise.
Dr Akanbiemu said the last lap is the investment planning meeting and for all that was done to make meaning, there has to be resource mobilisation to drive the programme.
In his words, Nigeria has good policies which meets its Waterloo at the level of implementation thus, he appealed to stakeholders to make the MSP a reality.
The Executive Secretary added that the Ondo document on MSP will be a benchmark for Primary Healthcare in the state, so its success or otherwise will determine how far the State will go in terms of fortifying Primary Healthcare which is a major trend globally.
Mr Sina Adelakun of the Technical Support Unit of the National Primary Healthcare Agency who revealed that the National Primary Healthcare Act 2013 actually prescribed the Minimum Service Package, congratulated the state for being the first in the country to start from sensitisation to the reality of achieving the MSP.
Mr Adelakun said the State will be used as a Guinea Pig from which other states will learn, while suggesting Public Private Partnership as the way to get funds for its actualisation.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa who was represented by his Permanent Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Adelayi said investment in health is virile as it is targeted at wealth creation.
While still stressing the importance of investing in healthcare, Mr Adelayi said success in productivity is hinged on it.
In his contribution, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan who was represented by his Permanent Secretary, Mr Bunmi Alade suggested looking outside government to adequately fund healthcare.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Deaconess Lola Fagbemi who was represented by her Special Assistant, Mr Wole Akinkuotu said her Ministry has always supported the Primary Healthcare Development Agency in terms of finance and would not relent in priotising its issues.
In his remark, the Ondo State Head of Service, Barr. Toyin Akinkuotu said Health financing is a global issue as the whole of the state budget cannot adequately fund healthcare so the most realistic source of funding is Contributory Health Scheme which is about to start in the state.
Mr Akinkuotu urged stakeholders to do everything possible to ensure the scheme succeeds as no government can successfully do it alone.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Dipo Durojaye opined that the Health sector has suffered from inadequate funding as doing the needful has been an heculian task.
Dr Durojaye advised that advocacy to source for funds should be for the whole of the Health sector and not just for primary healthcare alone and promised to give all necessary support to achieving the MSP.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr Alaba Adeyemi commended the Primary Healthcare Agency for the great feat achieved and advised that stakeholders should do everything within their power to ensure an effective healthcare system is availed residents of the state.
To achieve this great feat in his opinion, there is need for adequate funding which is beyond the government, so he joined others to solicit funding outside the government.
The WHO State Coordinator, Dr Akinola Fatiregun congratulated the state for taking a bold step which he described as one in the right direction.
Dr Fatiregun who was represented by Mr Samuel Agboola promised that in line with their global role, WHO will always support the State in all programmes.
The Chairman OSOPADEC, Barr. Olugbenga Edema said OSOPADEC is always ready to partner and support any organisation interested in bringing development to the riverine area.
The Chairman who was represented by the Director Community Welfare , Mr Wale Mafolabomi thanked the Primary Healthcare Development Agency for its effort at availing the people of the riverine area quality healthcare and promised to support whenever called upon.
Dr Tolu Ademujimi suggested Health Endowment, which is to be raised from every Contact in the state, Internally Generated Revenue and partnering of Service Providers as the way out.
Earlier in a presentation of a four year Investment Plan of the MSP, the DPR&S of the Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Yetunde Olagbuji stressed the importance of the MSP to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage.
In the plan, suggested sources of funding included State Allocation, IGR, intervention from Development Partners amongst others.