The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has expressed displeasure over the health sector’s five per cent budgetary allocation, saying it is insufficient to meet its challenges.
MDCAN president Mohammad Mohammad said this while briefing journalists after a communique was issued at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Uyo on Sunday.
Mr Mohammad said the association expressed concern that the country’s health budget was still far from the Abuja declaration, which prescribed at least 15 per cent budgetary allocation to the sector.
He called on the government at all levels to improve their budgetary allocations to the sector to meet with the Abuja declaration.
The association’s president also urged governments to implement strategies to improve the economy and the per capita spending on health.
He also observed that healthcare delivery has become more expensive due to the inflationary trend, adding that health insurance coverage was poor.
Mr Mohammad stated, “Government at all levels should endeavour to improve its budgetary allocation to the health sector towards attaining the Abuja Declaration of at least 15 per cent.
“Consequently, the government should put strategies in place to improve the economy of the nation in order to improve the per capita spending on the health of the population.”
Mr Mohammad called on the National Health Insurance Agency to improve enrollment to accommodate the vulnerable population.
He urged governments to take steps to mitigate factors responsible for the increase in mental health disorders among medical professionals and Nigerians.
The MDCAN president also called on the government to prioritise emergency response services to address morbidity, mortality and the burden of emergency cases.
Mr Mohammad called on the government to ensure that rules and regulations concerning explosives acquisition, transportation, and storage are strictly adhered to.
This, he said, was to avoid a repeat of the Ibadan blast, which consumed lives and property.
“NEC advises all Nigerians, especially health care workers, to have a high index of suspicion of Lassa Fever, and observe universal precaution, and the use of personal protective equipment,” he said.
The Abuja Declaration of 2001 was a commitment by African Union countries to allocate at least 15 per cent of their nations’ budget each year to the health sector.