2024 budget to increase health sector performance, reduce brain drain — FCTA

A cross section of attendees at the Association of Residents Doctors Scientific conference in Abuja
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By Justina Auta

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says the 2024 budget will bring about 61 per cent increase in the nation’s capital’s health sector and reduce brain drain.

Dr Adedolapo Fasawe, the Mandate Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA, disclosed this
on the sidelines of the 2023 Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), FCT chapter Health Week in Abuja.

Fasawe said the N27.5 trillion budget christened “Renewed Hope”, would bring about drastic infrastructure development in the FCT health sector and improved wellbeing for doctors and health workers.

She added that “the budget is an increase over the last budget. We believe this will translate to a 61 per cent increase in our health indices, better equipment in our hospitals, and we will be able to employ more doctors.

“For every doctor who leaves the system, we replace the person. As people leave, we also have people looking for jobs.

“Most people leave not because of poor salaries or poor working conditions, but because they don’t have the right equipment to work with at times.

“We hope the `Japa syndrome’ will reduce with the improved budget; we also hope to see the right equipment and expansion of hospitals and better roll-call.”

She, therefore, encouraged FCT residents, especially the poor and vulnerable, to register under the insurance scheme at the primary or secondary health facilities to access free healthcare services.

She explained that “for the FCT health insurance scheme, we have a plan for the vulnerable; it is for the poor who cannot afford healthcare. They are by law statutorily mandated to be taken care of once they are registered under the scheme.

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“So, if you fall under that group — poor, no job, no social security, visit any of our primary or secondary healthcare centres, where you will be assessed and registered.”

Earlier, Sen. Ireti Kingibe of the Labour Party (LP), representing the FCT, had appealed to doctors and other health workers not to relocate abroad, but rather stay back in the country and support the government and stakeholders to strengthen the health system.

Kingibe, who was represented by Dr Juliet Essien, a Clinician, said “the FCT will continue to receive improved budgetary allocation for its health sector.

“It is no secret that our healthcare is facing numerous challenges, but we need to address issues such as brain drain, infrastructure, accessibility and the wellbeing of healthcare professionals.”

Also, Dr Rahman Olayinka, the President of ARD, FCTA, said the health week was to provide a platform for members to share insights and draw government’s attention to crucial matters within the health sector.

It will be recalled that President Bola Tinubu recently presented the 2024 budget to the National Assembly.

A budget breakdown showed that the country’s health sector got N1.33 trillion, while the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, presented N61.6 billion budget to the lawmakers for 2024. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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