Says it intends to curb overseas medical trips

The Federal Government,on Tuesday,said it would focus its 2013 budget on improving the quality of services doled out at various tertiary hospitals,to curb the incessant overseas medical trips.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, made this known this while briefing journalists at the State House, Abuja, after his presentation on the key performance indicators of the health sector in 2012 and proposed budget for the next fiscialyear. 

Chukwu mentioned that to achieve its objective, the Federal Government would step up efforts to restore public confidence in the quality of tertiary healthcare system, while more public private partnerships would be pursued and realised.

He further stated that the government wouldexpeditethe completion of outstanding priority projects,including the National Centre for Disease Control, the National Diagnostic Centre, and the new trauma centres in six orthopaedic and specialist hospitals across the country.

He said they would alsocontinue the rehabilitation and upgrade of teaching hospitals, andexpressedhope that those steps wouldfoster efficiency and create more jobs in the health sector.

The Minister listed other targets for 2013 as includingthe prioritisation of health in national development instruments such as Vision 20:20, the transformation agenda and the SURE-P;passage of the National Health Bill into law;mainstreaming the health sector into all areas of national development;and renewed commitment towards attaining universal health coverage.

On the key performance indicators in the health sector under the 2012 budget, Chukwu said that a considerable number of federal tertiary healthcare facilities were upgraded, as there was an upsurge in the number of resident doctors trained abroad, screening centres for cancer nationwide, use of insecticide treated nets by pregnant women and health facilities providing specialised care for multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis.

Finally, he mentioned that significant improvements were recorded in emergency preparedness and response to epidemics such as measles, yellow and Lassa fevers, guinea worm, lead poisoning, HIV/AIDS, malaria and other communicable diseases.

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