• Friday, March 01, 2024
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Stakeholders raise concerns over poor management of health funds

Health unions urge FG to urgently implement sector salary structure, CONHESS

Stakeholders in the healthcare sector have raised concerns over the inefficient management of health funding in the country in over the years.

The stakeholders said amid the scarce resources, available funding for health was not properly used as it has not translated to improved outcomes, while some funds are even lying idle amid health challenges in the country.

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They spoke at the maiden Health Systems Emerging Solutions Forum which assembled leaders from the government and various healthcare organisations to address the issue in Abuja on Tuesday. It was convened by Development Governance International Consult (DGI).

Muhammad Lawan, vice chairman of the National Health Commissioners Forum and Yobe State health commissioner, believed that funding for health has not been efficiently utilised despite scarce resources.

“Resources are shrinking by the day. For years, millions of dollars have been spent on health interventions, but when you look at the outcomes, they are not commensurate to the investments that have been made.

Also speaking at the event, Gafar Alawode, a health expert and managing partner of DGI Consult said emphasis should be placed on the efficient management of funds rather than seeking additional funding.

“The health sector needs more money, but we also need to be able to utilise it. We have not done well in terms of utilising the existing funds. To start with, we see instances where the minister is returning money they were not able to spend, that is not good at all because there are lots of gaps in our health sector, why should we be returning money?

‘But at the same time, even the one we are using, do we have the best value for the money? Some data shows that in terms of workforce management, Nigeria is performing poorly, in terms of productivity of our health compared to other countries. We are not doing very well when you look at available data comparing us with the performance of other countries”, he said.

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Alawode also highlighted the need to generate data at different levels; National and subnational levels to measure performance.

The forum aims to showcase interventions and innovations that have the potential to transform the health system landscape when implemented at scale in the country, with the theme, “Optimising resources for accelerated progress towards universal health coverage.