From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a Civil Society Organisation, has called for an increase in fiscal allocation to help ameliorate the financial demands in the health sector in Imo State.
Lead Director of the Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Mr Eze Onyekpere, made the call on Friday during a workshop on improving budget processing for the health sector, in owerri.
Onyekpere, said that the workshop was aimed at contributing to improvements in healthcare and the realization of rights to the highest attainable state of physical and mental health in Imo.
” We are developing a budget memorandum on the right to health for the 2023 budget and reviewing the extant health indicators in Imo to ascertain to what extent budgeted resources have helped to improve healthcare.
” In line with the National Health Policy and the Imo Strategic Health Development Plan 2018 / 2022, this will help to ensure a measure of budget credibility so that we don’t build castles in the air”, he said.
He added that at the end of the workshop, recommendations would be communicated to critical stakeholders in the health sector to ensure greater value for money being spent by the state.
He mentioned the stakeholders to include the state Governor, State House of Assembly, Ministry of Health, Imo Primary Health Care Development Agency, professional associations and Civil Society Organisations.
Also speaking, the Imo Commissioner for Health, Dr Prosper Ohayagha thanked CSJ for organising the workshop, adding that it would help provide the framework for fiscal space for the success of issues bordering on the health budget.
Ohayagha, represented by the Ministry’s Director of Public Health, Dr Austin Okeji, added that this would ultimately aid the survival of the health sector in the midst of competing demands in the system.
” We’re happy with the CSJ and we call for increased collaboration among stakeholders and partners that will rub off positively on the local system.
” Providing finance for health is not a duty for the state alone, it calls for stakeholder synergy”, he said.
The workshop was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).