The Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN) has called for a speedy launch of the National Health Act to enable Nigerians benefit from it.
This was part of the recommendations made by the association in a communiqué after its 32nd Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting in Abuja at the weekend.
The National Health Act was signed into law in October, 2014 and gazetted in January 2016. Structures for its implementation have been set up and guidelines are being worked out, but the presidential launch of the act is still being awaited.
The communiqué, signed by APHPN Chairman, Prof T.M. Akande and Secretary General, Dr S.A. Aderibigbe, said Out Of Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) which contributes about 62% of health expenditure in Nigeria should be leveraged on by the government to finance healthcare through mandatory health insurance. APHPN said there was no documented database of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and no comprehensive public health approach to solve their health challenges, adding that government should pool funds from sources like aviation and telecommunication sectors among others to finance health care in Nigeria.
The communiqué also stated that government should identify and document the public health challenges of IDPs in Nigeria while the National Health Insurance Scheme should be reorganized and empowered to accelerate the attainment of the Universal Health Coverage through effective community based health insurance.
The public health physicians also called on government at all levels to put in place robust surveillance networks at state and regional levels to fast-track response operations.