The Federal Government has inaugurated a joint working committee of the health care provision fund.
The Committee was inaugurated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha on Tuesday in Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mustapha urged the Committee to ensure the provision of quality basic healthcare services to the majority of Nigerians.
What the FG is saying
The SGF stated that preference would be on people living in the rural areas and the vulnerable population. Others include women and children under the age of five years, as well as the elderly, irrespective of their locations in the country.
He added that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund was the funding provision of the Federal Government established under the National Health Act, 2014 (NHAct) for the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.
“Years after the establishment of the Fund, millions of Nigerians in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT are yet to feel its impact, given several challenges and delays in its implementation.
“The Fund was established within the National Health Act of 2014 to increase the overall financing to the health sector and to help improve access to primary health care services for all Nigerians, especially the poor and vulnerable.
“Specifically, the fund was to support the provision of a basic minimum package of health services to citizens; provision of essential drugs, vaccines, and consumables for eligible primary health care facilities; provision and maintenance of facilities, equipment and transport for eligible primary health care facilities.
“Development of human resources for primary health care; and emergency medical situations, such as Ebola and COVID-19.
He also revealed that the disbursement of the Fund, would be 50% for the provision of basic minimum package of health services to citizens, through eligible primary or secondary health care facilities promoted under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and added that 45% would be disbursed through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to be utilized for the following: 20% to provide essential drugs, vaccines, and consumables for eligible primary health care facilities.
“While 15% will be for the provision and maintenance of facilities, equipment and transport for eligible primary health care facilities.
“10% for the development of human resources for primary health care, as 5 per cent of the fund shall be used for emergency medical treatment to be administered by a committee appointed by the National Council on Health,” he said.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the operationalization of the basic healthcare provision fund (BHCPF) 2018/2019 budget with an appropriation of N55.1 billion and that in 2020, N44.5 billion was earmarked but revised to N25.5 billion (a decrease of more than 42.5 per cent) due to shortfall in revenue occasioned by COVID-19 and oil price volatility.
The SGF noted that the 2021 appropriation bill recently presented to the National Assembly proposed the sum of N35.03 billion for the fund through statutory transfer.