by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Government of Plateau State has said it would ensure that there are more than one thousand Primary Healthcare Centres spread across the State to “guarantee affordable and accessible health services” to the people, particularly at the grassroots.
While speaking at the Commissioning of a New Complex of Plateau State Primary Health Care Board on Wednesday, in Jos, by the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, he stated that “The implementation of Basic HealthCare Provision Fund has enhanced the capacity of the State to do more in this regard.”
According to him, “In order to address the challenges of fake and expired drugs and the out-of-stock syndrome, the State Executive Council last month approved a draft Bill for the creation of the Plateau State Drugs and Medical Commodities Management Agency, which has been sent to the House of Assembly for necessary legislative action.”
The governor narrated that, “The new agency, when created, will resolve the issues of drug distribution in public and private hospitals and also guarantee access at the grassroots,” while thanking the entire health workforce in the State for their sacrifices and service to the people, and also appreciated the primary healthcare workers, who continue to give their best, in the remotest parts of the State without any hesitation.
The governor called on local government chairmen to do their best to fulfill their mandate in addressing the challenges of primary healthcare delivery in their domains by ensuring that the health workers are comfortable.
He also applauded the untiring efforts of the Executive Secretary, Plateau State Primary Health Care Board, and all staff of the Board for the achievements recorded in Primary Health Care delivery under the present administration.
But Governor Lalong further chargeed them to intensify their supervisory and oversight duties to ensure that healthcare workers in all their primary facilities do their jobs diligently, and warned that, government will hold them responsible for any negligence and misconduct that impact negatively on the lives of the citizens.
He reassured citizens of the State that, “The World-class Hospitals under the Lalong Legacy Project will be delivered within the lifespan of this administration, especially now that the contract has been re-awarded and work is about to resume.
He observed with enthusiasm that, “Since the establishment of the Plateau State Contributory Health Insurance Management Agency (PLASCHEMA), many of the citizens – particularly the vulnerable and low-income earners – have been given access to affordable healthcare services.
“This has greatly reduced out-of-pocket expenses for beneficiaries, who hitherto had difficulty in paying their hospital bills,” while encouraging all citizens, particularly those in private employments and, even in the informal sector, to key into the programme by enrolling immediately.”
With added assurance, he said, “Government will continue to invest in the Primary Healthcare System, especially in the payment of counterpart funds, so that more partners will come to Plateau State with various intervention programs to support us meet the health needs of our people.
He noted, thus: “Our doors are open to the Federal Government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and donor partners. We are very grateful for their partnership and support in various schemes so far.
“While making sure that we upgrade our healthcare infrastructure, we are also working assiduously to ensure that the professionals are also trained and deployed appropriately to deliver the best services to the people,” he stated.
He also assured of equipping the facilities to make their work easier and without frustration and delays, adding that, “Last year, government approved the employment of health workers and doctors to boost the staff strength of our healthcare facilities. Healthcare workers were also redeployed to various local government areas to address lethargy as a result of over-stay in one station.”