Kaduna State Chapter of the Association of Public Health Physicians (APHPN) on Sunday evening reiterated that Nigerians especially the poor in both rural and urban areas lack access to basic health care to make them productive economic wise.
The association, which stated this in a statement issued by Dr Muhammed Sani Ibrahim and Dr Lawal Ahmadu, Chairman and Secretary respectively to mark this year’s world health day believed that, if the government could raise budgetary allocation to its health sector and ensure just one percent of the consolidated revenue is earmark for provision of basic healthcare, a lot of health issues would be addressed.
The statement read in part, “commitment to health development will be demonstrated by the government only by raising the budget for health and by allowing not less than 1% of the consolidated revenue fund to go to the provision of basic health care as laid down in the law of the Federal Republic.
“If the Act is fully implemented, it will facilitate the achievement of some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) especially SDG3; good health and well-being for all by the year 2030.
“It is a duty and commitment that the Nigerian government owes its teeming population and to ensure a healthy, productive, prosperous and sustainable development of the country”.
According to these professionals, presently, while Nigeria accounts for only about 2% of the world population, it has one of the highest infant and maternal deaths in the world, contributing more than 10% of global maternal deaths.
The reasons for this they said centres around the unimpressive implementation of the National Health Act despite its enactment since 2014.
“Whatever we do as a people, we must be guided by the fact that Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) all people and communities receive the necessary health services that they need to live and function optimally without suffering any financial hardship, is indispensable”, it added.
UHC is a powerful equalizer that ensures health care for all, enhances health security, reduces poverty and promotes gender equality.
The National Health Act 2014 provides a framework for the regulation, development and management of national health system and sets standards for delivering health services in Nigeria.
Some of the benefits of the Act include the provision of free basic health services for children under the age of five, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with disabilities irrespective of who they are or where.
Full implementation of this Act will ensure that the mandatory Social Health Insurance Scheme supported by the Act is made available.
This in turn would reduce the tendency for individuals and families to be tipped into poverty by the very high cost incurred from out-of-pocket spending on health.
However, more than three years after the enactment of this Act, over 70% of health care spending in this country is still borne by direct out-of-pocket expenditure.
POSTED BY EDITOR