National Health Dialogue: NPHCDA official seeks autonomy for healthcare facilities

Garba Buluma, an official of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA)
Garba Buluma, an official of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA)

The Director, Department of Planning Research and Statistics, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Garba Bulama, has urged the federal government to allow health facilities hire and fire ad-hoc staff.

Mr Bulama said this on Wednesday at the annual National Health Dialogue going on in Abuja.

The two-day event themed “Universal Health Coverage” – The Role of State and Non-State Actors in Healthcare Funding and Support”, is organised by PREMIUM TIMES in partnership with the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), the Project for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH@Scale), the Project Pink Blue and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF)

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Mr Bulama said giving autonomy to health facilities would greatly improve the productivity of the sector.

“A factor that can quickly change the narrative is to give some level of autonomy to the health facilities so that they can hire and fire some ad hoc staff.

“They can fix their own light issues, they can pay their utility bills and then the quality of service will improve because people have lost confidence in the system.

“That will help ensure that the confidence of the people increases and the quality of services,” he said.

Mr Bulama added that the rate of immunisation in Nigeria has increased, following a deliberate attempt by the NPHCDA.

“The SMART survey of 2018 presented in October last year and the ongoing analysis from the NDHS all showed that immunisation has increased.

“Right from the 2016/2017 MICS report, we in NPHCDA felt we could not continue doing the same thing and expect a different result.

“That is why we declared a state of emergency on immunisation and established a centre called National Emergency Centre for Routine Immunisation borrowing from the experience of polio and Ebola control,” he said.

He said the rate of immunisation in the country is now 54 per cent from an initial 33 per cent baseline when they declared an emergency in the sector.

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