Health Experts at a PACFaH 2017 Health Budget Media Dialogue have called for harmonisation of health expenditure in the country’s health sector.
They also stressed the need for the contributions of Development partners funds to be captured in the budget to check corruption, improve efficiency and block loopholes in the sector.
The Federal Government of Nigeria on Dec.14 presented 2017 budget proposal of N7.298 trillion to the joint session of the National Assembly.
In the budget, N252.87 billion was earmarked for the Ministry of Health as recurrent expenditure and provision for the payment of salaries and overheads, while N51 billion was set aside for capital expenditure.
At a paper presentation on the National Health Act and Basic Health Care Provision Fund,The CEO,Healthwatch Resources,Dr John Onyeokoro said the Act Provides for a minimum package of essential health services for all citizens to guarantee a more productive life.
“The provision of compulsory social health insurance for pregnant women and under-5s will increase the proportion of women who use ante-natal facilities with a skilled health care worker in attendance.”
According to him the Act will Improved access to health for the above vulnerable groups and impact positively on infant, infant and maternal mortality rates.
On his part,Program Director (Strategy)PACFaH,Pharmacist Remi Adeseun while presenting a paper tiled PACFaH Issue Areas include Nutrition Advocacy,Routine Immunisation (RI) Advocacy, Family Planning (FP) Advocacy and Treatment of Pneumonia & Diarrhea/Health Budget Advocacy.
The Program Director said said there was need to Strengthen Public Finance Management (PFM) and institutionalize Health Accounts to publicly disclose budget performance and make health budget information accessible to ordinary citizens
‘Leverage on the inefficiencies of the private sector and donors to deliver results”More Citizens/CSOs to be involved in the budget process and prioritization of interventions,”he added
Analysing the 2016 Budget performance and 2017 Budget proposal Analysis,Wale Micaiah called for Improved budgetary allocation to Health,especially to Capital Expenditures;
“Quarterly Budget Releases and Implementation Reports,”Adopt conservative assumptions in drafting the MTEF & FSP document and Access to Health Ministry Audit Reports,”he added.