The national minister of health hit us with sad revelation that up to 66 percent of the citizens do not have access to health services in this country, but she didn’t tell us the reasons.
Apparently, only 44 percent population and area coverage are beneficiary while others, the larger statistics fall under disadvantage and the people can’t access health services.
Pragmatically, health is directly or indirectly linked to wealth, hence, a saying that “the wealth of a nation is measured by the health of the citizenry”. Unequivocally, we are trapped in a quandary.
Diagnostically, health services provision comes with varied challenges ranging from existence of a facility, access, and availability of drugs, attitude and effectiveness of services, staff and competence of the human resource.
Some of these challenges are cultural attributes that could be addressed through community awareness, yet others require government interventions through budgetary allocations.
Defects in coverage and access need a multi-sectorial approach but basically dependent on the government’s funding of line ministries, not only the ministry of health.
Now that funds from non-governmental organization that aided our health sectors, especially the Health Pool Fund (HPF), has ceased to flow, we are left like a baby abandoned by death or negligence of a mother to fend for itself.
Much as funding is required for Ministry of Health to increase the number of health facilities in the country, the Ministry of Defense equally needs to be strengthened financially, to provide the safety of the people and equipment.
But before reaching a location, the Ministry of roads and Bridges would have been empowered financially to improve communication and access to such areas of interest.
Next in the line of multi-sectorial approach, comes the ministry of higher education to tackle training of human resources. Then, there should be some incentives to motivate and retain the existing staff, likewise, to improve their performance.
Nevertheless, successful accomplishment of a ministerial plan is result of a sufficient budgetary allocation by the National Assembly, which is the powerhouse of every development in a nation.
It’s therefore farsighted for the August House to revisit the capital allocations for the ministries to assess meeting future expectations and performances; grilling ministers when their chests are empty doesn’t make any change.