…Dr. Dahn Points To Predominant External Financing
By Jimmey C. Fahngon
The Ministry of Health has begun a three-day National Health Financing conference with the Minister of Health asserting that the predominant external financing of the country’s health sector poses financial risk to the sector.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at the Monrovia City hall, Dr. Bernice Dahn said in the 2017/18 national budget, the Liberian Government allocated 14 percent of the fiscal budget to the Ministry of Health which constitutes 15 percent of the annual cost of financing the health sector.
Dr. Dahn said predominantly, external financing currently funds the health sector, something she said poses a financial risk to the sector.
To this, she said the need to strategize and provide financial resilience to the sector cannot be overemphasized.
Minister Dahn said though achieving Universal Health Coverage will still require significant development assistance, at least in the short to medium term, sustainable public and donor financing is critical to ensure equitable health service delivery to all through financial risk protection.
The Health Minister disclosed that her ministry is currently developing and strengthening a system of sustainable health financial for the health sector.
Dr. Dahn told the gathering that Liberia is keen to moving towards stronger domestic resources for its healthcare sector which she said is strategic to providing financial security to the health sector.
She said the Ministry of Health in collaboration with its partners has been working to generate evidence on options of strategic financing to the health sector for the medium and long term.
Minister Dahn said Liberia is at a point “where we have to look at possible mix and sequencing of financing mechanism, resource allocation, regulation, public financial management, payment systems and their possible contribution to wider state building for Liberia.”
Liberia, she said appreciates the renewed global commitment that the Sustainable Development Goals brings to the health sector, especially goal three which is guided by the target Universal Health Coverage to ensure that people and communities have access to the needed quality services without the risk of financial hardship.
The three days conference is being held under the theme: “Call to Action-Sustainable Financing for Universal Health Coverage in Liberia.” Over 100 participants from government ministries and agencies, private sector and international partners are attending the conference.