Health Experts Seek Innovative Financing For Sector
AS the nation’s economy faces a slide, health experts, including the former Health Minister, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, former Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Akin Osibogun and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Mr Yinka Sanni, have urged the Federal Government to look for innovative strategies to boost healthcare financing.
The experts who spoke in Lagos yesterday during the public lecture to mark the 70th year anniversary of the National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi (NOHI), Lagos, organised by the hospital, stated that such strategies would help to reduce the nation’s current high rate of out-of-pocket expenditure and improve Nigeria’s poor health indices.
Delivering the public lecture with the theme “Finance Options for Efficient Healthcare Delivery in the 21st Century”,Osibogun stated that one of the greatest challenges facing the nation’s healthcare system has been inadequate health expenditure in comparison with total budget, adding Nigeria has not been able to meet up with the dreams of the Abuja Declaration that envisions allocation of 15 per cent of the nation’s budget to health expenditure.
The former LUTH CMD, who was represented, regretted that a lot of inefficiencies and wastes have characterised the utilisation of health expenditure so much that the little money that is released is not felt in the healthcare system.
Aside efficient management of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the professor of public health and health financing specialist urged the Federal Government to extend taxation towards beverages and confectioneries to raise money to counterbalance their negative role in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Adelusi-Adeluyi, who was the Chairman of the occasion, urged health workers in the hospital to work as a team towards the realisation of the dream of the founders of the hospital.
The former Health Minister called on Nigerians to hope for the best, even as he asked the citizenries to stop lamenting and rather focus on how to make a success of the current challenging situation.
Sanni called for strong private –public sector alliance to alleviate the challenge of healthcare funding, even as he said that the private sector holds the ace in health funding.