The Nigerian Medical Association has urged President Bola Tinubu to appropriate health sector financing with the Abuja 2001 Declaration of at least 15 per cent of the annual national budget.
The NMA said this will abate medical tourism and the attendant loss of financial resources.
The association said this in its congratulatory message signed by its President, Dr. Uche Ojinmah, and Secretary-General, Dr Jide Onyekwelu.
In April 2001, heads of state of African Union countries met and pledged to set a target of allocating at least 15 per cent of their annual budget to improve on the health sector. However, 23 years after, Nigeria is yet to meet the target.
The NMA also tasked the President on improved health workforce remuneration as a means of improving the availability of scarce workforce and mitigating brain drain.
“The Federal Government should implement the provisions of the National Health Act 2014 in full to set our health sector on sound footing. The Federal Government should ensure that the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund having been rolled out by the preceding administration gets improved appropriation, prompt releases, and institute appropriate measures for accountability and measurable outcomes.
“We believe that every Nigerian life matters, therefore, there is a need to have a functional and effective social welfare scheme focusing on providing a safety net (housing, food, basic education) and Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians, especially the disadvantaged or vulnerable groups including pregnant women, children under five years of age, the aged, the extremely poor (persons living on less than $1.90 daily and the disabled.
“Government at all levels should address social issues affecting health (social determinants of health: these include poverty alleviation, women empowerment and education (particularly girl child education), water and sanitation, infrastructural development, tackling insecurity, employment and elimination of corruption,” the NMA stated.
Additionally, the association called for an audit of existing primary health centres and to get them equipped and well-managed.
“Nigeria under your leadership should work towards a Doctor-led Primary Health Care because every country with an effective PHC, which is the entry point to the performing and cost-effective health system (the gate-keeping point), has achieved a doctor-led PHC.”