Investing in health, brings measurable benefits to a nation – Fayemi

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has said that strategic investment in the health sector remains an impetus to lifting citizens out of poverty and ensuring Universal Health Coverage for the country.

Dr Fayemi stated this on Thursday in Abuja during his presentation at the Centenary Celebration of the Association for General & Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMN).

He said there was a strong economic rationale for investing in health which included boosting individual and household as well as a country’s income in different ways.

The Governor said his administration had taken measures to set the state on the right path by increasing its capital budget from N1bn to N3.2bn in 2021, deepened the public financial management processes and consolidate donor resources into the state budget.

Dr Fayemi commended the role of the association as providers of health care delivery as a critical one and stressed the need for collaboration with private health providers in its drive to ensure effective and efficient delivery on the goal of Universal Health Coverage.

He explained that the Covid-19 pandemic has compelled government to adjust its spending and priorities as the country was witnessing its worst recession in the past 40 years.

He said while the state was making efforts to ease the immediate consequences of the pandemic, it must also focus on building back the economy and health system for the future, which is resilient to global health crises and economic shocks.

While revealing that Ekiti state had taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen its public health security by decentralizing testing to 145 testing centres, the highest in the country, and improved the disease surveillance capacity to pick up early signals of possible outbreaks, Dr Fayemi posited solutions in three critical areas of increase investment in health security; investment in the capacity of health workers and improving health financing for a resilient and sustainable health performance.

“Investing in health, brings measurable benefits to a nation, lifting many out of poverty and ensuring Universal Health Coverage. Ladies and gentlemen, strategic investment in health is the road to recovery.

“I would like to mention that there is a strong economic rationale for investing in health. Good health boosts individual and household income, as well as a country’s income in different ways. Healthier adults are more productive and healthier, well-nourished children are more likely to go to and remain in school, which in turn is linked to higher earnings in adulthood.

“To set the State on the right path, and enable us match our ambition with our vision, we tripled our capital budget from N1bn to N3.2bn in 2021. In addition, we have deepened our public financial management processes by consolidating donor resources into our budget.

“ I would like to mention that there is a strong economic rationale for investing in health. Good health boosts individual and household income, as well as a country’s income in different ways. Healthier adults are more productive and healthier, well-nourished children are more likely to go to and remain in school, which in turn is linked to higher earnings in adulthood.” He added.

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