Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has said the state needed not less than N80 Billion to meet its healthcare need, adding that 28 general hospitals are not enough to serve the entire state.
The commissioner stated this during a press parley at the state ministry of health on the government’s plan towards improving the health sector in the state.
“We are talking about billions of dollars investment in healthcare. If we want our health system to grow we need to invest more. We need at least N80 billlion for healthcare in Lagos,” he said.
Abayomi also said about 66 percent of people in the state cannot afford healthcare as they live below poverty threshold.
“These percentage of people in the state are not able to pay for healthcare, and are yet to be captured in the insurance scheme.The health insurance scheme aimed to ensure accessibility and affordability, only 33 per cent of people who are the well-to-do can access it.
“If the whole equity funds of the state is used to address the issue of health, it will only cater for five percent of the underprivileged population who can afford healthcare, leaving 61 per cent out.
“We have to address the health of the underprivileged people. We feel they are one step away from poverty and they don’t have the capacity to respond to sickness,” he said.
Abayomi said despite the Abuja declaration of 15 percent budget allocation to health, Lagos state is performing at eight percent of its budget allocated to healthcare, with plans to achieve more than the target.
He further reiterated the necessity of the government subsidising healthcare as billions of dollars is needed for the sector to advance, which he said was why Lagos state has refused to key into the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund that provides N1 billion funding for each state in the country to address it’s healthcare need.
On the issue of monkey pox cases in Lagos state, the commissioner affirmed that there were three cases detected but have been tackled, as the victims were admitted and given immediate treatment and have been discharged and back to their normal life.
He said the state has put measures in place to prevent any case from arising, noting that the reason for this epidemic which is transmitted from monkey to human is due to the influx of animals into the country.
The commissioner said the government needed to monitor what comes into the country. This he said is threatening the Nigeria’s bio-security.
Abayomi said other issues the present administration will tackle the next four years include, strengthening the primary health centers in order to lessen the burden on the secondary and tertiary level, as more general hospitals is expected to be built to cater for each local government areas, as well as resolve the issue of no bed space.
He lamented on the increase in brain drain and shortage of medical personnel, which he said has put the ratio of doctor to patient at 1:1,000,000 in Nigeria, noted that there is need to invest in human resources to strengthen capacity.