The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has expressed displeasure over the five per cent budgetary allocation to the health sector, saying that it is not enough to meet the numerous challenges confronting the sector.

The President of MDCAN, Prof. Mohammad Mohammad, said this while briefing newsmen after a communique was issued at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Uyo on Sunday.

The theme of the NEC meeting is; ‘Health Care Delivery In The Face of A Dwindling Economy: Role of Public–Private Sector Partnerships’.

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Mohammad said the association expressed concern that the country’s health budget was still a far cry from the Abuja declaration which prescribed at least 15 per cent budgetary allocation to the sector.

He, therefore, called on government at all levels to improve their budgetary allocations to the sector in order to meet with the Abuja declaration.

The association’s president also urged governments to put in place strategies to improve the economy to be able to improve the per capita spending on health.

He also observed that healthcare delivery has become more expensive as a result of the inflationary trend, adding that health insurance coverage was very poor.

“Government at all levels should endeavour to improve on its budgetary allocation to the health sector towards attaining the Abuja Declaration of at least 15 per cent.

“Consequently, government should put strategies in place to improve the economy of the nation in order to improve the per capita spending on health of the population.”

Mohammad called on the National Health Insurance Agency to improve on its enrollment to accommodate the vulnerable population.

He urged governments to take steps to mitigate factors responsible for the increase in mental health disorders among medical professionals and Nigerians.

He also called on government to prioritise Emergency Response Service across the country to address issues of morbidity, mortality and the burden of emergency cases.

The MDCAN president called on the government to ensure that rules and regulations concerning the acquisition, transportation and storage of explosives are strictly adhered to.

This, he said, was to avoid a repeat of the Ibadan blast which consumed lives and property.

“MDCAN commiserates with the families of the victims of the Ibadan blast and the Oyo Government.

“Government should ensure rules and regulations concerning acquisition, transportation, storage and the use of explosives are strictly adhered to.

“NEC advises all Nigerians, especially health care workers to have a high index of suspicion of Lassa Fever, and observe universal precaution, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment,” he said.

The Abuja Declaration of 2001 was a commitment by African Union countries to allocate at least 15 per cent of their nations’ budget each year to the health sector.

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