By Victoria Ojeme
The Federal Government has advised the 36 governors to improve the funding for health in their various states in order to have a robust health system.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who gave the advice while declaring open the emergency National Council for Health, NCH, meeting in Abuja, yesterday, revealed that the Federal Government had promised to improve the budgetary provisions of the health sector in the 2017 budget.
The NCH, which is the highest decision making body in the health sector, was hurriedly convened to discuss, among other things, the operationalization of the National Health Act, update on the resurgence of polio/lassa fever and the adoption of the revised National Health Policy.
He particularly applauded the government of Bauchi State for earmarking 16 per cent of its budget for health.
The minister, therefore, called on other state governors to emulate the Bauchi State government by increasing their budgetary provisions for health to, at least, 15 per cent.
He also emphasized the need for state commissioners of health to partner with wealthy and well-meaning residents of their states to revamp the health sector.
Adewole said: “You must look for the Dangotes in your states and bring them in to support the health systems for the betterment of your people.
He advocated strong partnership between the Federal Ministry of Health and the various state governments to implement the National Health Act, NHA.
He said: “We need you to own and take the driver’s seat in fostering the implementation of the NHA 2014 and the National Health Policy 2014.
“We need you to own and facilitate the operationalisation and scale up our initiative of revamping the Primary Health Care, PHC, system focused around functional ward health facilities with upward and downward referral linkages.
“We need you to work together to strengthen our surveillance systems ensuring that our response remains timely and effective.
“The journey to Universal Health Coverage, UHC, and resilient health system for a country like Nigeria is one which we must do collectively as equal stakeholders, state and non state actors alike.”
“There is need for all of us to take joint responsibility and be ready to be held accountable for our actions or inactions in ensuring that we embark on and go very far on this journey cannot be overemphasized,” he said.