Sunday, March 26, 2023

Only 4% of Anambra’s 2023 budget allocated to health: Commissioner

Mr Obidike said this while defending the health ministry’s budget before the State House of Assembly Committee on Health.

• December 2, 2022
Anambra state health commissioner, Afam Obidike
Anambra state health commissioner, Afam Obidike Photo Credit; LinkedIn Nigeria

Just four per cent, amounting to N5.7 billion, of the total budget proposal for 2023 fiscal year, in Anambra State, was earmarked to cater for the health sector, the state health commissioner, Afam Obidike, affirmed on Friday.

Mr Obidike said this while defending the health ministry’s budget before the State House of Assembly Committee on Health.

He said: “The Ministry of Health got about N5.7 billion which is about four per cent of the total budget of the state. Yes, it did not meet the 15 per cent target agreed upon in the Abuja Declaration but we understand the challenges the state is facing.

“We have other partners and the private sector who would assist the health sector via counterpart funding.

“It is not like health is not important, but we are part of the government and we understand that the major focus of this administration is road infrastructure.”

Highlighting some of the Ministry’s achievements in 2022, the commissioner said that about 300 health personnel were recruited to address shortage of health personnel in the state.

“When I assumed office, about 19 government hospitals were without health workers. Doctors to patients ratio was one doctor to 30,000 patients.

“But with this recruitment, the ratio is now one doctor to 10,000 patients. We are working to improve on this and ensure regular training for our health personnel too.

“We now have cervical and breast cancer screening centres in 10 health facilities in partnership with the World Health Organisation to save our women from the scourge of cancer, ” he said.

Mr Obidike said that the ministry planned to achieve more in 2023 to make healthcare accessible and affordable to all residents in the state.

“In 2023, we plan to renovate and digitise three general hospitals in Ekwulobia, Umueri and Enugwu-Ukwu, we hope to screen and treat about 5,000 women with cervical cancer.

“We plan to improve on the Blood bank system, Ambulance system as well as expand the telemedicine system to reach more health centres.

“The Oxygen plant established in 2019, was not properly maintained and it went moribund. We are already diagnosing the problem and it will be functional soon,” he said.

Reacting, Obinna Emeneka, chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, decried the low budgetary allocation to health, saying that it might affect the development of the health system.

Also speaking, Dr Cater Dike-Umeh, Chairman of the House Committee on Health, commended the ministry for their budget performance in 2022 and urged the ministry not to compromise when it comes to health matters of the people. 


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