House of Reps Urges State of Emergency in Health Sector - The Top Society

House of Reps Urges State of Emergency in Health Sector


The House of Representatives in Nigeria has made a resounding call on the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the country’s ailing health sector. This decision was accompanied by a plea for significant budgetary allocations dedicated to healthcare in the upcoming 2024 budget estimates.

The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Health to play a pivotal role in reviving the comatose primary healthcare program at the grassroots level. The objective is to provide qualitative and affordable medical care for the masses across the nation.

Furthermore, the House of Representatives recommended that the Ministry of Health, working in conjunction with State Ministries, Local Governments, and other stakeholders, create a task force aimed at eradicating medical malpractice, especially in rural areas.

The stakeholders have been tasked with providing summary reports to the Committee on Healthcare Services, outlining the evaluation of primary healthcare centers’ standards from 2016 to 2022.

In addition to these directives, the House mandated the Committee on Healthcare Services to closely oversee the activities in order to determine the actual condition of primary healthcare centers throughout the country. It also put the onus on the Committees on Healthcare Services and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance with the recommended actions.

These pivotal resolutions were reached following the adoption of a motion titled, “Need for the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) to Collaborate with Relevant Health Agencies in States and Local Governments to Ensure the Functionality of Primary Healthcare Centers.”

This motion was sponsored by Fayinka Moses Oluwatoyin.

The House emphasized the pressing need for these measures due to Nigeria’s status as the largest economy in Africa, boasting a GDP exceeding $430 billion and a population of 213 million. It’s anticipated that this population will double by 2050, exerting substantial pressure on the healthcare sector.

Of great concern to the House of Representatives was the dismal state of primary healthcare facilities in Nigeria. Statistics indicated that the country had approximately 39,983 hospitals and clinics in 2020, with primary healthcare centers accounting for a staggering 86% of this figure, totaling about 34,000 centers. Shockingly, only 20% of these primary healthcare centers were deemed functional, particularly in rural areas where facilities and staffing were severely lacking.

The House also expressed distress over the scarcity of vital medical equipment, drugs, qualified personnel, reliable electrical systems, beds, and proper road networks in these healthcare centers. These inadequacies have led to an increased death toll within healthcare facilities, necessitating a budget allocation of $80 million for the creation of additional bed spaces.

Another cause for concern was the 70% decline in primary healthcare facilities, a decline attributed to past military regimes, particularly the era of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and Prof. Olikoye Ransome Kuti. These regimes contributed to the disuse of many primary healthcare centers.

The House of Representatives, moreover, expressed alarm at the inaccurate representation of primary healthcare centers by the Federal and State Health Ministries.

These inaccuracies have obstructed proper budgeting and hindered access to quality healthcare in rural areas, ultimately resulting in premature deaths.

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