The Kaduna State Government has reiterated its commitment to invest more in the health sector, to give citizens access to quality health services.
The State Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, made the commitment on Friday in Kaduna at a Roundtable discussion on Public Investment in Health, organized by Palladium.
Balarabe said that the government had carefully designed programmes anchored toward improving the quality of lives of citizens through improvement in access to basic social service, particularly health care.
She described health care as fundamental to human development, and a basic right.
According to her, lack of maintenance in the past had prevented citizens from getting very strong and functional health system.
Balarabe, however, said that the present administration in the state has been investing massively on transforming the health care system.
The deputy governor said in spite of the investment, there is still the need for more funding and commitment for better outcome.
“We need to do a rethink on how we have been doing things; are they enough to give us better outcome and what other things contribute to effective health services.”
The deputy governor assured that the government would continue to do its best for better health care services across the state.
Balarabe called on relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and partners to continue to collaborate for more positive impact in the sector.
She appreciated the team for the partnership and working for better health care services in the state.
On her part, Amina Baloni, the state Commissioner for Health, said a lot of work needed to be done in transforming the health sector.
She saluted the state government for improving budgetary allocation and providing needed environment for the health sector.
The Commissioner, however, noted that priority should be accorded to operational and overhead funding, “so that we can move to areas where we can deliver services.”
“If we manage to get the social determinant right, we cut what we need in health by about 50 per cent.
“Government has already committed more than 50 per cent of its budget to social sector in recognition that you have to have good water, sanitation, nutrition and education,” she added.
Earlier, Mustapha Jumare, the co-chair, maternal and child accountability mechanism and chairman, open government partnership, called on the state government to invest more in health care.
According to him, this will bring about more improvement in various sectors, including the economy.
He noted that funding remains the major challenge for the health sector in Kaduna State.
“Investment in health does not only save lives, but is also vital to the wider economy, while poor health adversely affects education outcomes.”
Jumare advised the government to release funds for all approvals made, while the health ministry should track the utilisation of the funds.