From Aniekan Aniekan, Calabar

The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr Egbe Ayuk, has disclosed the state has only 196 functional primary healthcare centres out of the existing 1045 across the state.

Dr Ayuk disclosed this in Calabar during a briefing as part of activities to mark this year’s World Health Day which has a theme: My health, my right.

He said the functional ones are the ones where patients can go and get medical services and are present in each of the 196 political wards of the state.

He however pledged that the present administration is committed to healthcare delivery and will double this number within the next two years.

“Yes we are having challenges, today we have 1045 primary healthcare facilities but the structural ones that are functional are about 196 PHC centres.

“We expect that within the next two years, we will upgrade it to 450 and bring the total number of functional facilities to 600,” he said.

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On other challenges within the health sector which is receiving attention, Dr. Ayuk said is in the area of personnel.

He said the present administration did not meet up to eight pharmacists in its employ but the number has been doubled.

He also said only 30 doctors were fully employed in the state excluding contract staff and this number has increased by between 75% – 100%.

He said the government is aware of the National Basic Healthcare Provision Fund that is assisting states to develop what they have on the ground and will leverage this and also access funds from the World Bank for its impact programme.

He also disclosed that the state is developing its healthcare sector along five pillars which are developing a strong PHC architecture in the state, and having a subsidised healthcare financing system for the poor.

Others have a very strong health insurance system in place, ensuring equity in health resource allocations as well as ensuring quality service delivery is maintained.