OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has urged the federal government to increase the annual budgetary allocation to the health sector from 5% to 15% as had been pledged by successive governments in order to curb unnecessary deaths caused by the failing health system.
The call followed a motion entitled: Deplorable State of Government Owned Healthcare Facilities in Nigeria sponsored by Mr. Ntufam Mbora (PDP, Cross River) during plenary on Wednesday.
Mr. Mbora noted that the health sector is in shambles as hospitals have been reduced to mere consulting clinics without drugs, water and health equipment to function optimally.
The lawmaker expressed concern that Nigerians are losing faith in the public health sector as most government facilities are in bad shape and emergency units are barely equipped to respond to critical situations, thus causing privileged Nigerians to seek treatment outside the country.
According to him, the decay in the nation’s health sector calls for a re-evaluation of the annual budgetary allocation to the sector, which is barely sufficient for adequate provision of medical facilities and maintenance, he added.
He said: “The National Health Act which was aimed at establishing a framework for the regulation, development and management of the National Health System and setting standards for rendering health services and other related matters has neither achieved the cardinal objective of Universal Health Coverage in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) nor brought about any significant change.
“The deplorable state of the health sector is a clear indication that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has not been faithfully implemented, given that the 1% basic health care provision fund from the Consolidated Revenue Fund ought to have brought about a significantly improved health sector, including manpower development.”
The motion was adopted through a voice vote of the majority without debate and was referred to the committee on Health care to ensure compliance.