The influence of corruption in the health sector undermines the cost, volume and quality of public service delivery, threatening the access and quality of patient care. Contrary to the Federal governments’ pledge to revive it, the public health system suffer low maintenance, which most vulnerable citizens are more reliant on.
The former secretary general of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Henry Ewunonu highlighted some of the problems in the public health centers, during Say No Campaign’ DoroCorruption radio program on Wazobia FM, Abuja, some of which are insufficient drugs in the pharmacies, lack of manpower in the laboratory section, decrepit equipment, unhealthy and unsafe environment. He pointed out that the absence of stipulated legal provision for health care service in Nigeria before 2014, is partly responsible for poor performance indicators in the country’s health sector, as it had earlier suffered denial of assent by the then president.
Responding to the question on health budgeting, Dr. Henry said that the government failed to adopt the proposed zero budgeting against the existing envelop system which past sales and expenditure trends are assumed to continue. He added that, if adopted, the zero-budgeting system supports need assessment that provides a better understanding of the basic requirements of the health sector in Nigeria.
Though it behooves on the government to provide quality health care for the citizens, Dr. Henry encouraged citizens to know their right and responsibilities as contained in the “patients bill of right”, introduced by the consumer protection council (CPC). He also said that it Is important for the citizens to understand, monitor and identify trends of corruption within the health sector.