The Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke has approved a phased employment of one hundred and twenty doctors and thirty pharmacy technicians to beef up the State’s Health care delivery system.
Dr. Edet Ikpi, the State Commissioner for Health disclosed this during an exclusive interview in his office. Besides engaging doctors and pharmacy technicians, the Health Commissioner also informed out correspondent that the State has engaged an organization known as Nigeria Evidence Based Health Initiative to scientifically undertake a study of maternal and child mortality rate as well as HIV prevalence in all the eligible Local Government Areas of the State. This initiative, according to the Health Commissioner will provide the State with a scientific data from where it can analyze why certain areas are experiencing health challenges than the others and solutions to the problems.
The Commissioner who noted that quality health care delivery to Cross River State has taken delivery of world class health care delivery equipment, including four hundred and fifty first class beds for in-patients in hospitals. Besides, he said Cross River State is currently rated at level 3 in health care delivery, following the acquisition of MDR – TR (Multi-drug resistant) TB Laboratory and polymerase chain reaction suite at the Dr. Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Specialist and Research centre, Calabar.
On the passage of a legislation by the Cross River State House of Assembly for primary health care development, the Commissioner said the law is unique and different from other states in Nigeria because it provides for collaborative funding, where the Local Government Councils will make one per cent (1%) contribution of their gross earnings to the fund and the State Government, twenty-five per cent (25%). Through this method, the Commissioner noted, Cross River State has again demonstrated capacity and the political will to make the Primary Health Care the fulcrum of health care delivery in the State.
Meanwhile, the Health Commissioner said the State is facing some challenges as far as the National Health Insurance scheme (NHIS) is concerned. This is consequent upon the fact that the State does not directly control nor supervise the day to day implementation of the scheme. He however said his Ministry is working in partnership with communities in the State in order to upscale the Community Health Insurance (CHI) programme.