Health institutions and IGF

Sir: The increasing cost of running government owned health institutions in Nigeria coupled with dwindling revenue and next to zero implementation by persons charged with the responsibilities of public health funds/revenues has led various health institutions in Nigeria with formulating strategies to improve the revenue base.

More so, the near collapse of the National Economy has created serious financial stress for all public health institutions.

Despite the numerous sources of revenue available to the various health institutions, over 80% funding comes from the annual budget of both the federal and states government.

However, the serious decline in the price of oil in recent years has led to a decrease in the funds available for distribution to the state owned health institutions.

The need for health institutions to generate adequate revenue from internal sources has therefore become a matter of extreme urgency and importance.

Revenue generation is the nucleus and the path to modern development.

Thus, ill management of internally generated revenue from health institutions in Nigeria is a serious problem that bedeviled the health sector.

Transparency and accountability should be introduced in order to effectively utilized and maximize revenues internally generated from our health institutions.

It is of a general knowledge that for health institutions in Nigeria to completely admit or recognize a person as their patient, certain preliminary obligations in the form of registration, collection of cards and sometime deposit of certain amount of money must have been fulfilled by such a person which certainly would lead to such person parting with some money in favor of the Health institution involved to the extent that in my previous article on Emergency Treatment Under the National Health Act, I reiterated the fact that so many emergency patients have died in the course of meeting up the demands at the reception of some of our health institutions due to the bureaucracy and delay attached to registration, police reports for patients with gunshot wounds and acquiring hospital and health institution’s cards.

Also, health institutions, being public institutions for health care delivery, also serve as revenue generating agencies of government by providing medical, surgical, radiological, pathological, laboratory, haematological consultancy and ambulance services, respectively and such other services related to health issues in exchange for financial payments.

Thus, these funds internally generated are expected to be paid into the Federation Account, but major part of these funds are either recycled within the health institutions for logistics or disbursed without authorisation.

However, the question most time in the mind of the average Nigerian is what do these health institutions do with funds accruing from internally generated revenue since the government and some donor agencies partner to fund healthcare in Nigeria?

Research had shown that the internally generated funds (IGF) by most of our health institutions are been recycled to meet up with health facilities, equipment and logistics needed to meet up healthcare provision by most health institutions.

Gregory T. Okere Esq. wrote from Centre for Social Justice, Abuja.

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