ENUGU ASSEMBLY STOPS DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS FROM FREE MATERNAL CHILD HEALTH ACCOUNT, ACCUSES HELATH MINISTRY OF UNCLEAR BUDGET PROCESS

The Enugu State House of Assembly has directed the State Ministry of Health to stop further disbursement of funds from the Free Maternal and Child Health (FMCH) care programme’s account following the non-implementation of the Economic Planning Commission’s decision.

The Chairman, House Committee on Health, Dr. Emeka Ogbuabor, gave the directive when he led members of the committee on oversight visit to the ministry.

Recently, the State Economic Planning Commission approved that fund from the programme’s account to be used to build one primary health care center up to national primary health center model, three specifications in each of the senatorial districts.

The Ministry of Health, however, had raised objection that the guideline for operation does not provide the use of the fund for infrastructure rather it was meant specifically for health care services.

Overtime, residents of the state had raised an alarm that the programme only existed on paper as no one had claimed to have benefited from the services.

FMCH, which is one of the state government flagship programmes designed to provide free health care services to the affected persons, was designed to be funded by the local government to improve on health care delivery services.

It was also observed during the visit by the House Committee on health that the ministry had started disbursing funds from the FMCH account to some of facilities that are providing the services up to the tune of ₦53 million.

The Chairman, House Committee on Health, Dr. Emeka Ogbuabor, frowned that the ministry was trying to undermine decision of the Economic Planning Commission, and transition committee on primary health.

The committee also observed that the ministry was in constant breach of due process in implementation of its budget as its processes never passed through the ministerial tender board.

The health Commissioner, Dr. Ekochin commended the committee and appealed to the committee to advise the state on the way forward.

OLIVER OSSAI

 

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