Saturday 30 January 2016

N60bn health fund missing from #Buhari’s ‘ #budget of change’ – Nigerian Doctors - DailyPost

Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has expressed shock that N60 billion, equivalent of 1% of consolidated revenue guaranteed by the National Health Act to fund basic health, is missing from the 2016 budget.

The group lamented that President Muhammadu Buhari’s N6.08 trillion “budget of change” only provides N1, 448 per capita health spending, lower than the N1, 546 per capita spending in 2015, compared with a recommendation of N6, 908 by the World Health Organisation.

A statement on Friday signed by NMA president, Dr Kayode Obembe, asked the National Assembly to “urgently review and revise the paltry allocation of N221.7 billion to the health ministry in the 2016 Appropriation Bill.”

It condemned “the sharp departure from the prescribed 15% of the national budget for health made in 2001 in a meeting of African Heads of States and Government which Nigeria hosted in Abuja.”

“Allocation for health amounts to only 3.65% of the 2016 budget and would never encourage the advancement of universal health coverage which is the only panacea towards improving availability, access, quality and efficiency of the health services to reduce the disparaging health indices which continue to malign the image of our country in the comity of nations.

“It is our considered opinion that Nigeria should show the way and provide leadership in Africa after having failed in this regard since 2001.

“Health allocation has hovered between three and six percent since 2001, compared with one-third of countries at the Abuja Declaration that have allocated at least 10% of their budget to health.

“Tanzania, Rwanda, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Malawi and Central African Republic have all marked up to 15% of their budget for health, according to WHO figures.

“It is on this premise that we call on the National Assembly as the only organ that could mitigate this looming disaster in the healthcare delivery sector in 2016 at this juncture, to look dispassionately without any partisan sentiments at what should be done to substantially increase the allocation to the health ministry in order to deliver better healthcare to the Nigerian people,” said Obembe.

He said despite government’s lofty plans to revitalise 1000 primary health centres by 2017 and upgrade tertiary hospitals to centres of excellence in order to mitigate medical tourism, only commensurate funding could drive the proposals to reasonable actualisation.

“In this era of reduction in oil revenue, the economy will rest mainly on human resource potentialities and manpower developmental output,” said Obembe.

“Therefore the only road to economic recovery is for the Government to guarantee basic minimum package of healthcare to every citizen through Universal Health Coverage, UHC.

“The panacea for the UHC is Community Based Health Insurance. This is achievable by increased budgetary allocation to healthcare (15%) and operationalization of National Health Act.”

No comments:

Post a Comment