The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said the decision of the Federal Government to cut the budget of the health ministy in the 2016 budget by 33 per cent made Nigeria a laughing stuck before the global community.
He said this on Tuesday while speaking during a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services on how to avert a crisis in primary healthcare delivery in the country.
The committee is chaired by an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Imo State, Mr. Chike Okafor.
The minister said, “We became a laughing stock globally when the 2016 health budget was reduced by 33 per cent.
“The impression is that we are not a serious nation. Each time we talk about primary healthcare, we talk about a pyramid.
“PHC as the foundation, secondary institutions as the building and tertiary institutions as the roof.
“Without the foundation, the pyramid will not stand.”
He however hailed the decision of the Federal Government to after it improved the ministry's budget in 2017. The government had budgeted N221.7billion for the health sector this year out of the total national budget of N6.06trillion.
In 2015, the health budget was about N259.7bn, up from N216.4bn in 2014.
The percentage of the country’s total budget spent on the health sector has hovered between 4.4 per cent and 5.5 per cent over the years, as against the globally-recommended 15 per cent.