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Lawan seeks more investments to strengthen health institutions

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Lawan seeks more investments to strengthen health institutions

Ahmed Lawan

Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan has called for more investments in the health sector to strengthen the country’s relevant institutions and secure the health of citizens.

Lawan noted that the presence of adequate investments in the health sector would insulate the country’s health institutions in moments of emergencies.

 

The Senate President spoke in Abuja after a point of order raised during plenary by Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC Kwara Central), on the “Need to Prioritize Health and Strengthen Efforts to Accelerate and Achieve Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria.”

 

He said: “The matter you have raised is not open to debate, but let me thank you for bringing it to our notice, and also the notice of the general public, on the need to prioritize health and strengthen efforts to accelerate and achieve universal health coverage in our country.

 

“Surely, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how weak our health institutions are and, of course, the inadequacy of the institutions.

 

“[And] this means we have to invest more and more and more in the health sector to secure the health of citizens of our country.”

 

Senator Oloriegbe, while coming under Order 43 of the Senate Rules, noted that the United Nations, UN designated the 12th Day of December to commemorate the Universal Health Coverage, UHC Day, and raise awareness of the need for strong, equitable and resilient health systems all over the world.

Lawan seeks more investments to strengthen health institutions

 

According to the lawmaker, the UHC in principle, makes it a priority for citizens of every country, no matter their socio-economic status, to have access to quality and essential health care services without suffering financial hardship.

 

He further noted that the federal government made several commitments and efforts in its journey to achieving UHC.

 

Senator Oloriegbe explained that these efforts include Nigeria’s signatory to several international treaties and resolutions on health, including the Abuja Declaration.

The lawmaker, accordingly, urged the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Federal Ministry of Health to immediately release and implement approved funds earmarked for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, BHCPF.

 

He advised the Federal Ministry of Health and its relevant departments and agencies to strengthen health security infrastructure and fully implement the National Action Plan on Health Security

 

Senator Oloriegbe also tasked the Federal Ministries of Finance and Health and other relevant agencies to identity robust health financing structures and mechanisms that would enable Nigeria achieve UHC by year 2030.

 

The lawmaker commended the government for its commitment and progress made so far in providing access to quality healthcare services and improving health care delivery at all levels.

 

He also lauded the National Assembly for its commitment and key interventions to support UHC objectives.

 

“The National Assembly is currently concluding legislative processes on the National Health Insurance Scheme Amendment Bill – The National Health Insurance Authority Bill which proposes to make health insurance mandatory in the country if passed into law and accelerate progress towards UHC,” he stressed.

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