Healthcare providers urge government to increase budget for positive outcomes

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

Healthcare providers and technology experts have urged the government to inject more funds into the health sector to achieve positive outcomes in the country.

They said access to financing have remained a major burden in the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria, which enables all citizens to access healthcare across all levels.

They made the submission at the 2018 Healthcare Nigeria Conference, organised by Hygeia Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) held in Lagos, which had all stakeholders in the health sector, banking sector and technology sector and patients, with the theme: “Sustainable Healthcare – The Roadmap”.

Speaking at the conference, the Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue said appropriating more funds into the health budget would assist in sustaining and increasing the health indices of the country, as there would be accessible and affordable quality care for all citizens.

“It is no longer sufficient to have potential or hope or desire, we need a real and immediate executable action plan at the level of each operator or participant in the healthcare value chain.

The existential challenge that we face as a people, due to the prevalence of basic sanitation driven diseases combined with the explosion of the incidence of Non Communicable Diseases, amidst an environment with high maternal and infant mortality means that without corporate and individual action, we will see a reduction rather than an improvement in the life expectancy of the average Nigerian. We should avoid this outcome,” he stressed.

In his presentation titled: “Building a Sustainable Health Ecosystem”, the Director of Advocacy and Communications, PharmAccess Foundation, Dr Olamide Okulaja said Nigeria’s healthcare system is in shambles and needs to be viewed as a business for sustainability to increase health outcomes.

“There is need for huge changes to happen in our healthcare system. There is no sustainability without financing.

The panacea to solving the challenges is increasing budgetary allocation as agreed in the Abuja declaration of 15 percent,” he added.

Speaking on the “Future of Healthcare”, Eitan Fish, from Swiss Re South Africa, said artificial intelligence is taking over the healthcare space, adding that with new innovative technology being invented, it would bridge the healthcare delivery gap to the remote patients across the country and enhance the impact of health outcomes, with less misdiagnosis, wrong treatment and reduction in the spread of diseases.

He, however said, adopting mobile technology in rural and hard to reach communities, would increase accessibility and affordability of quality healthcare in Nigeria.

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