The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) on Tuesday commended the Senate for providing one percent allocation of the Consolidated Revenue Fund as basic health fund in the 2018 budgetary allocation to the health sector.
PSN specifically commended the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki for keeping to his promise on the fund which is a provision of the National Health Act 2014.
In a statement signed by the PSN President, Ahmed Yakasai, the society enumerated the various merits of the fund, saying it would improve health, reduce poverty, create jobs, drive economic growth by healthy citizens and prevent epidemics.
It commended the lawmakers for providing N57bn in this year’s budget as provided by the National Health Act 2014 which was passed in 2014 but not “fully implemented till date”.
Yakasai bemoaned the delay in the implementation of the National Health Act since 2014, advising the key drivers of the project to change their approach to life as it is obtainable in other climes.
“This is rightly so because each member of the team is critical to the day-to-day operations of our health systems. Unfortunately, our Minister of Health is not helping matters. It is our prayer that God will touch his heart to stop dividing the healthcare family”, he said.
According to Yakasai, with the provision of the health fund, “it should now be possible for every Nigerian to have a feel of healthcare services he needs, when and where he needs them without facing financial hardships – which is the goal the law intends to achieve”.
According to him, international standard as far as best practice is concerned is consistent with interdisciplinary team approach to provision of patient-centered care both in the hospital and outpatient setting.
He said, “Pharmacists play key role globally in terms of Medication Therapy Management. A pharmacist is not responsible for diagnosis nor prescribing medication but on the other hand, have responsibility to the patient and other healthcare professionals including the Medical Doctors, Nurses etc by providing a critical service of Medication Therapy Management in order to reduce Medication errors, improved clinical outcomes, ensure cost effective patient management and promote patient safety.
With these benefits to patients and the country, why should someone be opposed to Pharmacy Specialists as Consultants? Why is our Minister of Health so divisive? He needs to realize that he is a father of all”.
The PSN President said Nigeria must recognize and strengthen the pharmaceutical systems and management practices as a way out to improve access to and affordability of medicines which is very imperative for achieving universal health coverage.