Resident doctors at University of Abuja Teaching Hospital staged a protest on Tuesday calling for quick implementation of the National Health Act.
They said delay in implementing guarantees in the act, signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan in December 2014, was putting the health of women and children at risk.
“We need to address some of these issues or else, it will lead to the total collapse of the health sector,” said president of the National Association of Resident Doctors at the hospital, Dr Uche Ifeanyi.
It comes as President Muhammadu Buhari spoke of setting up a steering committee to implement the act, nearly two years after it got presidential assent.
Experts say there is nothing in the 2017 budget before the legislature to fund implementation of the act.
The act guarantees that at least 1% of consolidated federal revenue be committed to a Basic Health Care Provision Fund, in same manner as 2% of total budget goes to the Education Trust Fund.
“We need to state here that 70 per cent of health care expenses are borne out of pocket in Nigeria. That is wrong,” said Ifeanyi.
“Even in countries like Ghana, it is about 29 percent; Angola is about 10 per cent why should Nigerians be 4.7 per cent when people have to pay for health care; it delays the work we do as doctors and then preventable death occur and these deaths are blamed on us so we need the government to implement this Act.”
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