Buhari emphasises need to improve healthcare spending

Written by on November 19, 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari has cited the emergence of new diseases as the reason why Nigeria, like most other nations of the world, would need to improve and prioritise spending on means and materials to survive the period.

President Buhari stated this on Thursday during the virtual inauguration of capital projects executed at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The President also directed the Head of Service of the Federation and the Budget Office to consider an increase in the personnel and overhead allocation of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).

According to a statement issued by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari noted that the increase in personnel and allocation at UMTH would optimise services provided by the activation of the new projects.

Among landmark projects commissioned by the President are a newly constructed and fully equipped 150-bed Trauma Centre, a new General Outpatient Department, a complex for National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), a multipurpose Auditorium and Conference Centre constructed and furnished by Prof. Babagana Zulum, the Governor of Borno State.

President Buhari also commissioned a new hostel for the UMTH School of Nursing, constructed by the Federal government.

The President noted that the value of the projects at the UMTH, which is a Centre of Excellence in Infectious diseases and Immunology in Nigeria, to the nation’s health care system cannot be underestimated, especially in the era of global health system challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the completion of the capital projects aptly reflects the Federal government’s commitment to sustaining development in the North East, and indeed in all parts of the country to engender economic growth, peace and progress.

”Emerging diseases have made it necessary for all nations to increase and improve resource application for coping with the challenges or adapting to the ‘new normal’.

”This goes on in Borno State side by side with efforts to tackle insurgency and criminal activities,” he said.

On the 150-bed Trauma centre which comes with a helipad, the President expressed delight that it will provide modern multidisciplinary care facilities to injured persons from within and outside Maiduguri, in addition to reducing the need for referral to other centres.

President Buhari said that the intention of the government to render affordable quality health care with broad coverage will be boosted with the completion of the General Outpatient Department and the NHIS complex.

Urging citizens to take advantage of the improved facility, the President appealed to operators of these excellent facilities to imbibe the maintenance culture and ensure optimum utilization.

President Buhari also commended the collaborative programmes of the teaching hospital with indigenous, international, non-governmental bilateral and multilateral donors and partners, like the Physical Rehabilitation Centre, which is a product of the engagement with the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC.

”This Centre is now fully operational in this era of reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement in Borno State.

”At this centre, complete physical rehabilitation that includes physiotherapy and fitting of limb prosthesis can be undertaken locally, to end the need for outside referral.

”I express Nigeria’s deep appreciation to ICRC and other partners engaged in collaboration assistance,” he said.

Commending the Management and Board of the UMTH and the Ministry of Health on their performance, President Buhari said:

”Nigeria is proud of your achievements. I urge all staff to continue to work together harmoniously, to ensure successful delivery of other ongoing capital projects in the hospital, for the benefit of citizens who seek care here.

”I assure you of my commitment to improved healthcare delivery services all over Nigeria”, he said.

In his remark, Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, thanked the federal government for supporting the State in overcoming its health challenges, by constructing some of the projects.

“These landmark projects are timely, considering the health challenges the State is facing as a result of lingering security challenges. Therefore, the State government will continue to partner with the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital in the area of specialized training and retraining of medical practitioners, for the provision of basic healthcare needs to the people of Borno State.

“We must commend the federal government under the leadership of President Buhari for this giant stride in the health sector. This institution has never witnessed such developmental projects since its inception,” he said.

The Governor announced that the State will soon embark on the construction of a teaching hospital for its State University.

There were goodwill messages from the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, as well as the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


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