By Haruna Gimba
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has called on the Federal Government to review the amount allocated to health sector in the 2016 proposed budget.
President Muhammad Buhari has in the budget he presented before the National Assembly allocated the sum of N221.7 billion to the health sector.
The President of NMA, Dr. Kayode Obembe and Secretary General Dr. Adewunmi Alayaki, in a statement published in national dailies expressed dismay and urged the federal government and the national assembly to urgently review and revise the health ministry’s allocation.
The statement read: “The NMA view with great dismay the allocation of only 3.65 per cent to the health sector, which is a sharp departure from the prescribed 15 per cent of national health budget for health made in 2001 in Abuja. This deviation has posed a huge moral burden for the country which is against its own avowed commitment despite the emerging challenges and demands from the sector.
NMA is of the view that the markedly diminished allocation of 3.65 percent in the 2016 budget would never encourage the advancement of universal health coverage which is the only panacea towards improving
availability, access, quality and efficiency of the health services to reduce the disparaging health indices which continue to malign the image of our country in the comity of nations.”
The statement ended with a call on the National Assembly, to look dispassionately without any partisan sentiments at what should be done to substantially increase the allocation to the health ministry, to deliver better healthcare to Nigerians.