Dodoma — BUDGET allocation to the health sector has been increasing each year even as the country is yet to meet the target of allocating 15 per cent of its total budget to the sector, as required by the Abuja Declaration of 2001.
During the current financial year, the government allocated 1.497trl/- to the sector which is 10 per cent of the total national budget, up from 1,205trl/- during the fiscal year 2011/2012, translating to 12 per cent of the national budget that year.
"There was an increment of 200bn/- this year compared to the previous year. We have been allocating more funds each year even as the target set by the Abuja Declaration is yet to be met," Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare Dr Seif Rashid.
During the fiscal year 2009/2010, the Deputy Minister said the health sector was allocated with 920bn/-, noting, however, that achieving the percentage specified by the Abuja Declaration will go further in improving the sector.
The Deputy Minister made the revelation while contributing to parliamentary reports by the Community Services and Community Development Committees that were tabled in the august House on Friday.
The parliamentary committees and lawmakers who contributed to the reports had expressed concerns that the country had failed to achieve the Abuja Declaration and blamed it on poor provision of health services, particularly in rural areas.
In another development, the Deputy Minister said the government will from January, next year start settling the 52bn/- debt that it owes the Medical Stores Department (MSD).
"The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Finance Ministry and MSD have already met and verified the debt and I can assure this House that the debt will be settled starting January, next year," Dr Rashid said.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Dr Fenella Mukangara has said her ministry has already drafted the Media Bill and it now awaits cabinet approval before it is tabled in the National Assembly.