Group commends FG on revised health care fund guidelines

The National Advocates for Health (NA4H) had commended the Nigerian Government for approving the 2020 Revised Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) guideline and called for a speedy implementation.

The group made the call in a statement signed by its Chairman, Prof. Oladapo Ladipo, on Wednesday in Abuja.

“The NA4H has commended the Nigeran Government for approving the 2020 Revised Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) Guideline during the NCH Meeting held on Thursday, 6th August, 2020.

 “The Meeting was held virtually with Ehanire presiding and has attendance of 28 Commissioners of Health and Secretary of Health of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) along with the Honourable Minister of State, Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora and the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi,” Ladipo said.

 According to the Chairman, the BHCPF is derived from an annual grant from the Federal Government of not less than one per cent of its Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), grants by international donor partners, funds from any other sources, inclusive of the private sector.

 He said that in approving the revised BHCPF, the NCH adopted the following resolutions.

 “Conscious of the logjam in accessing the BHCPF, the agreement reached by FMOH with the Governors’ Forum on the issue of payment of 25% counterpart fund through annual state budgetary provisions was endorsed for implementation.

 “Aware of the delay that the BHCPF had suffered, disbursement of funds to States should commence immediately.

 “Recalling the provisions of the National Health Act (2014) and the guidance provided by the National Assembly, the BHCPF will continue to accept all donor contributions toward enhancing equity in access to health care,” he said.

While commending the approval of the revised 2020 guidelines, Ladipo noted the following:

 “In the initial 2020 approved budget, the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), N44.50 billion was allocated and captured in the Part C of the 2020 approved budget ‘Statutory Transfers’.

“However, in the revised national budget assented in June 2020, the BHCPF only got N25 Billion. This is a major setback to the implementation of the BHCPF.

“Without any doubt this has resulted in inequitable distribution of Human Resources for Health and unacceptable preventable mortality and morbidity.

 “The revision of the BHCPF guidelines took too long, which necessitated temporary suspension of funds disbursement and implementation at state level and primary health care centers,” he noted.

 The chairman said that NA4H also issued the following recommendations.

 “The 2020 BHCPF allocated budget of N25 Billion should be released at once from the treasury to the Three Gateways dedicated accounts: FMOH, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), respectively.

 “NPHCDA and NHIS should ensure speedy disbursement of funds to the 36 states plus FCT for onward disbursement to the designated and accredited primary health care centers bank accounts and for the implementation of essential health services.

 “The FMoH should be publishing every quarter the total amount of funds disbursed to the Three Gateways and the amount disbursed to all the 36 states plus FCT. This will deepen transparency, accountability, and efficiency.

“The state governors as agreed, to pay their 25 per cent counterpart funding timely and to be captured in their annual approved budgets.

“State Governors are called upon to honour their commitments and ensure PHC Facilities are ready to roll out BHCPF.

“State Governors are called upon to ensure they have functioning state health insurance agencies backed by laws, to qualify them to access funds from the NHIS Gateway,” he added. (NAN)