Speaking when the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire paid him a courtesy call in Asaba, Governor Okowa said with the inability of the local government councils to meet with their payment of salaries of their workers, it was important for the federal government to increase its funding of the primary health centres in line with the primary health care law of the country.
While disclosing that his administration had done a lot to cushion the effects of recession on staff of local government councils in Delta State, the governor disclosed that his administration was committed to having a healthy population which he described as assets.
He stated, “Delta State has gone beyond the indices of having one functional health centre per ward to having 402 healthcare centres across the 270 wards in the state and also, we have 62 functional hospitals in the 25 local government areas in the state against the recommended one functional health centre per local government area.”
“With all these, the wage bill of the state is bound to be high and we want the federal government to increase its funding and supervision of the primary healthcare centres,” Governor Okowa stated.
He used the occasion to call on the federal government to use Delta State as pilot state for the roll out of the national health insurance scheme by the national health insurance commission because, the state had put in everything in place for the successful take off of the scheme.
Governor Okowa also, assured the visiting Minister that his administration would not relent in assisting federal government agencies, noting that since assumption of office his administration had done some projects at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba.
“The FMC, Asaba is a very important centre to us and people from the neighbouring states medically, we are aware of some of their challenges and as resources improves, we will continue to assist them in line with our policy of assisting federal government agencies operating in our state,” the governor assured.
Earlier, Dr Ehanire had told the governor and members of the state executive council that he was in the state to inspect the FMC, Asaba, see their successes, their challenges and proffer ways forward for the centre.
He commended Governor Okowa’s administration for its assistance to the centre and appealed that more should be done for the centre to be able to cater for the needs of Deltans and those who make use of it.
Dr Ehanire stated that to reduce maternal and child mortality in the country, one primary healthcare centre in each ward, and one general hospital should be established in each local government area of the state.