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.
Source: Daily Post
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