Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), has said that health budget in 2017 Appropriation Bill is still below the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation for countries.
Though the 4.15 per cent budgeted for healthcare in 2017 Appropriation Bill is higher than the 3.65 percent of 2016, it is still less than one third of what is expected of any country by WHO, Yakasai said in a statement made available to Independent.
The global health body and African Heads of States had during Abuja declaration said that 15 per cent of the total expenditure of a state should be spent on healthcare because of the importance of good health to a nation’s well-being, productivity and life expectancy.
Yakasai said that compared to the United States 20.7 per cent, Germany 19.4 per cent, Iran 17.5 per cent, China 12.6 per cent, and Turkey 10.7 per cent budgeted for healthcare for their citizens in 2015, we must, as a nation, do the right thing and be a global player.
He said: “While we await the dramatic improvement for healthcare budget from single digit to double digit within a short while in our national budget, the immediate implementation of the National Health Act by the Federal Government will go a long way to cushion the effect of 4.15 per cent budgeted for healthcare in 2017 and help us as a country to truly safeguard the health of Nigerians.”
PSN boss believed that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation and that the number one task of governance is to protect the lives of her people.
He said that healthcare does not just protect the lives of the people, but also enhances the quality of their lives.
However, Pharm. Yakasai, commended the increase of N81.3 billion in 2017 budget compared to 2016, but said that Nigeria still has a long way to go.
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