The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Tunji Alausa has said that health can be a 15% contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Alausa said this in an exclusive interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday.
“Currently, health as a contributor to our economy is less than 6 percent. We can move this to about 15% percent. We would have been able to succeed in creating a large number of durable, high paying jobs for our young population that need it.
“We would be setting medical industrialization up in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country and we need to mobilize more funds into our country.
”As you know, a lot of money is being spent on the healthcare sector but the kind of result we are getting was not matching the amount of money spent.
“So, we looked at it and said there is a problem that has to do with fragmentation. People are spending and doing the same thing. So, we said since we have our basic healthcare provision fund which is one percent of the consolidated revenue as a gateway, it’s not a lot of money. It’s one percent and that doesn’t meet the needs of our large population.
“But then, our development partners are spending more money doing a lot of things. So, we said, let’s kind of coordinate more, not necessarily mingling the funds, but let’s coordinate in a more parallel manner where we can begin to pull more funds into our primary healthcare setting, into our national health insurance, so that we can have more funds to deliver more high-quality services to Nigerians.
“Beyond that, as of the health sector renewal investment initiative, we are now going to unlock the value chain in the healthcare sector, moving the sector from just a consuming part of the economy to a more growth driven part of the economy.”
He also said the 2024 Budget has the highest allocation for healthcare the country has seen in the last decade.
“The 2024 budget has the highest allocation for healthcare that we have ever seen in the last decade. We have more money, budgeted for infrastructural improvement in our healthcare sector, equipping our hospitals with more state of art equipment, building new council centers across our country, even building new hospitals and this has only been made possible because of our president.
“His commitment to the healthcare sector. But is it up to 15%? No but actually more than 5%. I can promise you that we will get to that 15% because we started very well with the significant amount of money that is budgeted for health in 2024.”