Dr Betta Edu, Director General (DG) of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) at the end of the year 2016 led some staff and Partners of the Agency to Local Government Service Commission to sensitise them on the Movement of all PHC workers in the state to the Agency. The DG who was received by the Chairman Local Government Service Commission, Dr Peter Adigeb reinstated his commitment to the smooth transfer process however noted that the LGSC must be carried along and the process gradually brought to proper conclusion.
Dr Edu said in 2004 the Health Policy delegated Primary Health Care to the Local Governments, which lack adequate resources to properly manage it. Moreover, several line MDAs are handling different aspects of PHC which has led to wastage, duplication of function and inefficiency. She went further to state that Primary Health Care Under One Roof policy that was passed at the National Council of Health a few years ago and backed by the National Health Act actually offers the best opportunity for states to have a much more active hands-on control over the delivery of Primary Health Care services, bringing in the human resources and also the investments to improve the delivery of Primary Health Care at the front-lines.
With this movement the Primary Health Care Under One Roof policy when uniformly applied the fiscal space for health is improved at the subnational level, then the delivery of Primary Health Care on the supply side will get a lot better.
“Before this policy what you had was that the Ministries of Health at the state level were responsible for Primary Health Care programmes, but the staff that delivered Primary Health Care were staff of the Local Government Service Commissions, and so there was a bit of a disconnect. The Local Governments also had responsibility of hiring for Primary Health Care, and they don’t always hire the right people, or allocate the right levels of human resources to the right facilities said the DG.
Speaking further Dr Edu said the Primary Health Care Under One Roof policy basically was to bring the delivery of Primary Health Care under one umbrella where funding is between states and their LGs funded through a joint mechanism where 40% of the funding for Primary Health Care was directly coming from the state government and 60% from the Local Government all at once and then have State Primary Health Care Development Agencies or State Primary Health Care Boards oversee the implementation to ensure the facilities are appropriately sited, functional, that the human resource is available. “So today Cross River State is blessed to have a functional Primary Healthcare Development Agency and Pro Health Governor, Senator ( Prof ) Ben Ayade who is ready to support the full revitalisation of Primary Healthcare System in the state, we also kindly solicit for your support through this process.”
Responding, the Honorable Chairman of Local Government service commission, Dr Peter Adigeb said strengthening Primary Healthcare services in the community level was very vital to the health development of the state and as such the Local Government Service will support any policy in the overall interest of the people from the State especially in the area of Healthcare services. He noted that truly the LGs has been having issues in funding some healthcare projects starting from human resource to equipping of health centers for better and quality services.
“We at the level of LGA will fast track a thorough consultation among ourselves and will come out with a smooth process that will favour both parties ( State and LGA). Our uttermost appeal will be that when this workers are successfully moved the State should be able to take care of their incentives and consolidate more on our effort. Adequate human resources should be provided to all Health Centers to compliment the effort of LG.
“We would see to a successful implementation of PHC Under One Roof across the State. We are open for more dialogue and engagement towards this process said the Honorable Chairman who was delighted over the visit by the Members of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency to sensitize them on the movement process and the maternal new born and child health week.”
Present at the meeting were other commissioners in the LGSC, Permanent Secretary and Programme Officers from the CRSPHCDA.