By Daniel Tyokua
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole and other key stakeholders in the health sector have renewed discussions on major areas that would assist in strengthening health care financing in the country.
Adewole and the stakeholders, who spoke separately on Tuesday at the Thisday Health Summit in Abuja, on improved healthcare financing model for a sustained investment in the health sector, called for strategy that will make health budget work bother.
Adewole noted that the health sector cannot be funded by federal government alone, insisting that all state governments and relevant bodies must join hands together .
“The tax payers’ money which is being controlled by the government can’t do it all. People should see health issues as everybody’s responsibility,” Adewole noted.
In his key note address, the Director, Health Nutrition
Population, World Bank Group, Olusoji Ageyi, advocated for strategies, resources, execution and discipline in healthcare financing.
On the significant of the summit, the Organiser and chairman of THISDAY, Nduka Obaigbena, said the aim is to galvanise discussions on why the country should prioritise financing of the health sector as a bastion of human capital development which is critical for the achievement of the Economic and Growth Recovery Plan.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, budgeted N340.45 billion for 2018 budget proposal for the health sector, this however, represents 3.9 per cent of the total N8.6 trillion budget.
If the appropriation bill is passed as it is, it would imply a three-year consecutive decline in the allocation to health sector
Findings indicated that allocation to the health sector in 2017 and 2016 were 4.16 per cent and 4.23 per cent of the budgets respectively.
This implies Nigeria has flouted the commitment it made with other African countries 16 years ago on funding of health care services for its citizens.
It would further be recalled that in 2001, Nigeria hosted the Heads of State of member countries of the African Union (AU). There the “Abuja Declaration” was made with the leaders pledging to commit at least 15 per cent of their annual budgets to improving their health sector.