Civil society groups urge government to set aside 15% allocation for health
Ahead of the proposed 2017 Appropriation Bill, 76 civil society organisations in the health sector have asked the Federal Government to allocate 15 per cent of planned expenditure to it,
and the groups said the charge was in line with the April 2001 meeting of African Union (AU) countries in Abuja where they pledged to set a target of allocating at least 15 per cent of their yearly budget to improve the sector. Besides, the groups, which sought a compulsory National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for the country and the allocation of at least N41.69 billion to jump start the Basic Healthcare Provisions Fund, also asked for a mechanism that would ensure full release of the capital budget of the sector starting from the 2017 financial year.
Speaking on this, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), Dr. Ben Anyene, who spoke at a forum in Abuja on behalf of the organisations, stressed that with a well-funded sector, individuals would spend less resources on medicare, and Also, Lead Director at Centre for Social Justice (CENSOJ), Eze Onyekpere, called for the implementation of the National Health Act by setting aside at least one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the Fund, stressing : “The memorandum seeks increased allocation to the health sector to reach the 15 per cent Abuja Declaration benchmark. The bulk of the new resources should go to capital expenditure to enhance access to equipment and health supporting infrastructure.