Stakeholders demand 15% appropriation to health sector
Stakeholders at the 2016 Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) annual physicians week have demanded for a 15 per cent budget allocation to boost the country’s healthcare delivery.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for this year’s celebration is: “Healthcare in a frail economy: Challenges and way forward’’.
Mr Eze Onyekpere, Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, urged to the Federal Government to dedicate 15 per cent of the 2017 budget to the health sector to ensure adequate healthcare services for the masses.
Delivering a paper, tagged “Budgeting for the right to health’’ on Tuesday in Abuja, Onyekpere urged the government to dedicate one per cent of the consolidated fund to basic healthcare provision as stipulated in the National Health Act signed into law in 2014.
He noted that funds at the federal and state levels have not been adequate to cater for healthcare needs of Nigeria.
“We need a reduction of health expenditure coming from the pocket of Nigerians so that more of the resources will be coming from the government, insurance and other resources that do not tasked the individual at the time he needs services.
“At the point he needs healthcare services there is no guarantee assurance that the resources for him to pay will be available.
“We need a health budgeting system that is evidence base respond to the epidemiological data analysis in the society and that is adequate to take care of healthcare needs of the masses to attend to the minimum core obligations of the state in matter of healthcare,’’ he said.
Onyekpere, who pointed out that the government had failed to allocate the declared amount in 2015 and 2016 budget, added that available information revealed that it was not also captured in the 2017 budget.
He explained that the implication of such failure was that there will be reduction in healthcare funding, among others, thereby increasing maternal and child mortality rate of the nation.