Minister for Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole yesterday warned state governors in Nigeria not to build new health centres in their states but instead take good care of existing ones and make them functional. Adewole dropped this hint while speaking at the Cross River State Health Summit organized by the government of Cross River State, yesterday, in Calabar.
The Health minister who spoke on the theme; “Translating Health Policies and Plans Into Action,” said that there is no need building new health care facility centres urging state governments to focus more attention on the rehabilitation and properly taking care of the existing ones warning against embarking on white elephant projects by governments of the 36 states of the federation.
He said, ”There is no need building new health care delivery centres, instead of taking care of existing ones, provide human resources, clear the weeds, provide electricity, and make health centres function adequately.”
“There is no need constructing new ones, clear the weeds, and provide water and electricity you would make them functional”.
He said the state should use the $1.5 million seed for the development of the health care delivery system in the country.
The minister urged those charged with the responsibility of managing the funds to be careful on how the funds will be utilized as the EFCC will not relent to beam its search light to make those who misappropriate such funds to account for the funds.
He warned health officials in the country not to convert funds meant for provision of health care delivery to their personal use so as not to incur the wrath of the EFCC.
Adewole said, “Nigeria is one country in the world where 70 to 80 Per cent of funds provided for the provision of good medical health care facility end up in pockets of private individuals. Let me warn that the EFCC is out to look for such people”.
“So beware if you do not use it well you will be on your own. We will be mobilizing funds for the provision of good health care programmes in the country. We are also going to mobilize funds for the provision of good health care delivery for about 8million Nigerians.
“We intend to commence a free test and treatment for the four different cancers disturbing the lives of our country men and women; that is prostrate cancer for men, breast cancer for women and several others. It is part of the rapid result that we started last year. For as long as you are poor, we will give treatment to you. If you are not poor please don’t go there.”
The era of the federal might is over, where the federal government has to take care of everything, we cannot do it alone we have to partner state governments to enable us to achieve success in the health sector.
He said that the ministry of Health under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari had concluded plans to provide free medical surgery for 10,000 Nigerians who have no money to pay for the services in the area of cancer.