USAID’s Integrated Health Program (IHP) has urged the Bauchi state government to motivate health workers to be able to serve people in rural communities for efficient service delivery.
IHP Health Financing Advisor, Pharm. Khalid Kasimu, made the call while presenting a paper on health financing outlook 2024 and support to Bauchi State at a one-day media quarterly meeting organized by IHP yesterday.
Kasimu said that the 2024 budget outlook would need to concretize efforts in making adequate provision for human resources to have adequate incentive packages that would attract health workers into the state.
This, according to the financing advisor, would enable the program to fill in the gap while creating more enrollment and access to people in healthcare services. He called on the state government to ensure efficient use of human resources in the healthcare centers.
He also called for a lot of motivation for workers to serve the people in rural communities, who are the majority, because the majority of health workers are concentrated in urban centers.
“We need to ensure that there is a lot of motivation for workers to be able to serve people in the rural communities, which are the majority, because the concentration of health workers is in the urban centers, while the rural areas have very few workers due to a lack of enough motivation or safety for them to really function in the rural facilities”.
Kasimu added, “We also want the state government to ensure the efficient use of our resources in the health centers as well as other health facilities by putting in an accountability mechanism and system that will attract expenditure of our resources in the health sector”.
Pharmacist Khalid Kasimu also called on the Bauchi state government to use part of the fuel subsidy removal palliatives allocated to it by the federal government and enroll vulnerable members of society into the state’s health insurance scheme.
“The palliative for fuel subsidy removal allocated to each state has been published; I am sure if you check the dailies that information is there, including how much each state got. What we are advocating for Bauchi State is that they can do things differently,” he said.
Pharmacist Kasimu, while reasoning that the issue of healthcare consumes most of the incomes of the vulnerable people, advised that it should be given priority attention.
He added, “Once you are able to enroll them, they will have access to quality healthcare. Use twelve thousand Naira per individual to register them on the contributory health care scheme in the state”.
Pharmacist Kasimu further explained that by enrolling them, they will have the privilege to access quality healthcare for a whole year, which will reduce the effect of health care expenditure that is pushing them into poverty.
The permanent secretary in the Bauchi state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Saleh Giade, assured that the state budget process has already started and that very soon discussions with civil society organizations and other stakeholders will be held in the three senatorial districts to fine-tune the budget.
Earlier in her welcoming remarks, Mrs. Elizabeth Cah, the President of the Journalists for Public Health Initiative and Development (J4PD), said that the meeting was going to accord journalists more knowledge of how to track budget implementation with a view to improving spending in the health sector.
She said, “The meeting was organized to improve understanding and accurately report progress on budget performances and financing reforms in Bauchi.
“Increase Health Insurance awareness among the public as well as develop the capacity of the Media outlet to report health issues.”