Group calls for review of Nigeria’s health policy

national hospital abuja

‎“The rivalry between the medical professionals is unnecessary.”

A Civil Society Organization, Centre for Social Justice, CSJ on Wednesday in Abuja called on the Nigerian Government to review some of its health polices as a key to national development.

The Lead Director, CSJ, Eze Onyekpere said Nigeria’s capital health budget must be in alignment with the recurrent expenditure to bring about desired development.

Mr. Onyekpere said the Federal Government must maximise available resources to achieve a progressive realization of citizens right to health.

“We are not fulfilling the minimum core obligations to the citizens, we are not putting our money were we project it to be in 2015, we are not spending enough on capital expenditure,” Mr. Onyekpere said.

He said there was a need for health issues to be prioritized because health indirectly makes a reflection on all activities or sector.

Mr. Onyekpere said there should be a balance between capital and recurrent health expenditure, noting that majority of Nigeria’s health professionals are well trained, ready to work but rather underpaid or lack required equipment to work with.

He said new avenues must be sought and harnessed for citizen’s health insurance funding while meetings and debates should be organized by health professionals to discuss issues and needs of the health sector before budget presentation for each fiscal year.

However, on the ongoing doctor’s strike, he advised medical workers to settle their grievances in the most matured way and end the strike.

“The rivalry between the medical professionals is unnecessary. Yes, the doctor maybe the leader; he is important, but the nurses, pharmacists, laboratory personnel and all are not less important,” he said.

The group also recommended a harmonization of the fiscal projection of the National Development Plans, an increased resource allocation to the health sector, full release and cash-backing of all appropriated funds, improved capacity of the ministry of health, realignment of the structure of health spending and enhanced value for money.

Others include improved civil society and legislative oversight, a stop public funding of medical tourism, slash in cost of health governance and alternative and complimentary means of health funding.

Also speaking, the Procurement and Governance Officer, CSJ, Victor Emejuiwe, said it was pertinent to note that most other African countries with less resources are doing well on health issues.

“Other African countries with less endowment seem to be doing relatively better than we are doing,” Mr. Emejuiwe said.

The Public Finance Management officer, CSJ, Ikenna Ofoegbu, added that a check must be placed on medical tourism by Nigerians. He said that higher ranking public office holders must be stopped from using tax payer’s money for treatments abroad.

He, however, encouraged the Federal Government to work towards providing all needed equipment and adequate training of health personnel for effective medical treatment in Nigeria.


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