Four years after committing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target on Universal Health Coverage, about 90 per cent of the Nigerian population still pays Out-of-Pocket (OPP) to access healthcare services.
The Sustainable Development Goal 3:8 targets achievement of universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), UHC means health coverage for all, without discrimination and leaving no one behind.
The organisation stressed that everyone everywhere has a right to benefit from health services that they need without falling into poverty when using them.
Meanwhile, a report by the NOI Polls has shown that about 82 per cent of Nigerians still pay Out-of-Pocket (OOP) to access healthcare services, while five per cent revealed that friends and family pay for their health services.
Stakeholders have therefore, expressed worry that the poor segment of the population would likely not seek healthcare due to their inability to pay.
Meanwhile, the minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, has expressed federal government’s commitment to work with state governments and invest heavenly in the health sector and provide quality healthcare services with a view to achieving UHC.
He, however, submitted that the greatest challenge of Nigerian health system was out of pocket expenses, which according to him, the federal government was exploring other sources of revenue to address.
“For us to accelerate progress on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), federal and state governments would need to invest more significantly in health.
Lamenting the poor state of public health facilities in the country, the Co-chairman, Lagos State Accountability Mechanism for Maternal & New Born Child Health (LASAM), Barrister Ayo Adebusoye, said while the population in Lagos State is increasing by the day, the public health facilities are heavily under pressure.
He said going by the Abuja Declaration, 15 per cent of the state budget is supposed to be allocated to health, but Lagos State, in the 2018 budget, allocated about 8.6 per cent to health.
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