By Donald Ojebo
ASABA/Nigeria: Delta State Government has reiterated its commitment to improving the primary health care system in the state, saying it is the bedrock of every health system being the first port of call for most patients who seek healthcare.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye made this known during the briefing session by MDAs for participants of the year 2022 Senior Executive Course 44 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos held at the Conference Hall, Prof. Chike Edozien Secretariat Complex, Asaba.
“All health efforts were geared towards the functional primary health care centres because if we get it right at that level, effort at improving health services in the state will be impactful,” the Commissioner disclosed.
The Commissioner said that due to the importance this administration attached to health care provision at the primary level, the state government took over the salaries of the medical doctors who initially were under the employ of the State Local Government Service Commission and also created a robust supervisory measure to ensure they were on top of their job.
He said that presently, Delta State had a policy of one doctor per local government which he said allowed for a medical doctor, who is referred to as Executive Secretary, to draw out an itinerary of primary health centres in the area and schedule clinic days to meet with patients.
The commissioner said the measure had succeeded in reducing pressure arising from the movement of patients from the primary health facility to the secondary health facility.
The commissioner said that the state was partnering with the federal government by leveraging on the federal government’s health policy such as ‘Saving One Million Lives for Results Programme’ and the ‘Basic Healthcare Provision Fund’.
Dr. Jude Winful-Orieke, Permanent Secretary and Executive Director, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency (DSPHCDA) in his paper presentation titled: “Promoting Healthcare Delivery at the Local Government level through impactful strengthening of local governments in Delta State worked the participants through on the state’s efforts at improving healthcare provision at that level.
He explained that health care at the LGA levels was categorized into three levels namely, Level One known as Health Post; Level Two called Primary Healthcare Centre and Level three known as Comprehensive Primary Health Care Centre.
Dr Winful-Winful also used the medium to explain the talk about the various donor agencies’ assistance in primary health care centres in the state and the state government’s approach on the importance of the private sector to adopt a primary health care centre with a view to strengthening their services.
There was also an interaction session, which availed the participants’ opportunity to ask questions on Delta State Government’s measures to take health care service down to the grassroots and answers and clarity on those issues raised were offered by the state health contingent.