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Experts seek increased accountability in health sector financing

Experts have called for increased monitoring and accountability in the health sector to ensure better financing and service delivery. They made the call during a…

Experts have called for increased monitoring and accountability in the health sector to ensure better financing and service delivery.

They made the call during a forum on raising the health sector accountability bar organised by the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria, HERFON, and the Health Sector Reform Coalition in Abuja.

Dr Celestine Okorie, the Executive Secretary of HERFON, said proper accountability would reposition healthcare financing and go a long way to address the inefficiencies in the health financing landscape.

Dr Dogara Okara, who represented the Federal Ministry of Health, said factors that informed the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, BHCPF, were: low health expenditure, which stood at less than 5 percent, high rate of out-of-pocket expenditure (75 percent), low rates of health insurance coverage (4 percent), poorly resourced primary healthcare system , and life expectancy  (53 percent).

He said the discovery led to the appropriation of funds by the federal government for the first time in 2018 and the development of an implementation manual in the subsequent year.

Dr Priscillia Ibekwe, the Director of Special Duties at the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control,  NCDC, called for a Joint External Evaluation of Internal Health Regulations core capacities.

She said there must be a “development of a multi-sectoral National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS 2018- 2022) to address gaps, with the goal of preventing, detecting and responding to Public Health threats.”

The forum agreed to work together with key stakeholders to raise the accountability bar in order to reposition the Nigeria Health financing landscape.

While calling for the harmonisation of the existing accountability framework, the experts said there was a need to improve efficiency in the utilisation of public funds spent in the health sector through the development and operationalisation of an accountability framework.

 

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