Stakeholders in the health sector converged on Abuja recently to disseminate the 2006-2009, 2010 -2016 National Health Account Report and also to validate the findings of the 2017 National Health Account Studies.
The immediate past Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole while speaking during the event, said the National Health Account was the global best practice that ensures complete health financing data for information.
The minister who was represented by the Director Human Resources, Alhaji Aliyu Muhammad said the study offers countries extensive opportunity to review all expenditures on health in the economy, adding that it gives opportunity to track flow of funds from various financing sources through health financial scheme such as social or private insurances.
According to Adewole, the result of the studies has consistently show that out of pocket health expenses was high and continually increasing.
He said: “Against the global Universal Health Coverage (UHC) benchmark of 30 per cent, the out of pocket expenses in Nigeria is unenviably as high as 71.5 per cent and 78 per cent based on 2016 and 2017 estimates respectively, which invariably shows that our health system is mainly financed from out of pockets.”
However, he said with the commencement of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), the trend is going to be corrected.
He said “As we implement the BHCPF, it is my strong desire that it will help address the inefficiencies within our health system as well as strengthen the reprioritisation of our primary healthcare system.”
In his remarks, the WHO representative, Dr. Clement Peter said the Health Account Report was very useful in providing appropriate roadmap and essential baseline for achieving the UHC Agenda.
“This will play vital role in the tracking of implementation progress, especially as the operationalisation of the BHCPF has commenced,” he added.
Also in his goodwill message, the Programme Manager, Health and Nutrition European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dr. Anthony Ayeke said it is crucial for effective policy implementation in the health sector to know exactly from where funds come, where it goes, what services and goods the money is used to purchase and who the beneficiaries are.
The EU representative hoped that the longstanding relationship between the EU, government and partners like WHO would be strengthened by the working documents and implementation manual.
The project is funded by European Union through the World Health Organisation.