The Nigerian Medical Association have called on the federal and state governments to increase the funding of healthcare in the country.
Dr Kofi Ikpeme, a Fellow of Royal College of Surgeon and past Chairman of NMA in Cross River, made the call on Saturday during the NMA South-South Zonal Meeting in Calabar.
Ikpeme said that the Nigerian health sector has continued to decline due to poor budgetary allocation, adding that this has affected health provision to citizens.
He said that the national budget for the health sector in Nigeria has been fluctuating between 5 per cent and 8 per cent over the years, adding that the percentage was low.
According to him, the World Health Organisation Conference has recommended and approved 21 per cent allocation of a country’s national budget to the health sector.
He urged medical doctors who may find themselves in leadership positions to use the opportunity to lobby the government to improve on the funding of the healthcare sector in Nigeria.
“The state of our general and teaching hospitals is deteriorating by the day. The federal and state governments have failed to improve on our budget for the health sector.
“Nigeria’s national budget now fluctuates between 5 and 8 per cent and this allocation is not good enough because it cannot meet the health needs of millions of Nigerians.
“The Federal Government should follow the WHO Geneva conference by allocating 21 per cent of its national budget to the health sector,’’ he said.