A member of the Cross River House of Assembly, Dr. Ekpo Ekpo-Bassey, has urged the federal and state governments to increase funding for the healthcare sector in the country.
Ekpo-Bassey, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Health, gave the charge yesterday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar.He said that the health sector had continued to decline due to poor budgetary allocation, adding that this has affected health provision to citizens at all levels.
He, therefore, advised the Federal Government to allocate at least 15 per cent of the country’s national budget to the health sector based on the Abuja Declaration by African Heads of States in 2001.
According to him, there is a direct relationship between financing and healthcare, maintaining that where you do not have funds, you cannot have quality healthcare services.
“As a matter of fact, healthcare in Nigeria has been suffering because the country as a whole has not been able to meet up the amount that should be going to healthcare delivery services.
“We are all looking at achieving Universal Health Coverage and what it means is that everyone globally should be able to have access to healthcare services without suffering.
“Therefore, government has a responsibility to provide funding and increase budgetary provision to support the healthcare sector.
“For us in Cross River State, we cannot run away from this all important sector. Our people need healthcare to improve their living conditions.
“Cross River State has placed healthcare as a priority and therefore in the budget of 2020, we are going to make adequate funds available for the healthcare sector, we have no option.
“We will not only end at appropriation; we will equally prevail on the executive in ensuring that funds are released so that we can have meaningful impact in the healthcare sector,”