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SGF inaugurates healthcare provision fund c’ttee

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SGF inaugurates healthcare provision fund c’ttee

The Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, on Tuesday inaugurated a joint working committee of the Health Care Delivery Fund in Abuja.

The committee is responsible for ensuring the provision of quality basic health services to the majority of Nigerians.

Mustapha explained that preference would be given to people living in rural areas and to the vulnerable population.

Others, he said, are women and children under the age of five, as well as the elderly, regardless of their location in the country.

SGF was represented by Adejo, the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs, SGF Office.

He said the Basic Health Care Fund was the federal government’s funding arrangement established under the National Health Act of 2014 (NHAct) for the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.

SGF also said that the creation of the fund marked the turning point for health services in Nigeria.

He added that it would bring relief to millions of Nigerians who have never received proper basic health care.

He pointed out that it would also reduce personal expenditure for health services and improve Nigeria’s dismal performance on several health indices and overall quality of life.

He said: “Years after the establishment of the Fund, millions of Nigerians in the 36 states of the federation and the CTF have yet to feel its impact, given several challenges and delays in its implementation.

“The Fund was established under the National Health Law of 2014 to increase overall health sector funding and to help improve access to primary health care services for all Nigerians, especially the poor and the vulnerable.

“More specifically, the fund was to support the provision of a minimum set of basic health services to citizens; the provision of essential drugs, vaccines and consumables to 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.

SGF further explained that the fund was an annual government grant of at least one percent of its Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

He added that grant partners and funds from other sources also make up part of the fund.

The disbursement of the Fund, he added, would be 50% for the provision of a minimum set of basic health services to citizens, through eligible primary or secondary health care facilities promoted in the framework of the national health insurance scheme (NHIS).

“45% would be paid through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to be used for the following: 20% to provide essential drugs, vaccines and consumables to 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 percent for the development of human resources for primary health care, because 5 percent of the fund will be used for emergency medical treatment to be administered appointed by the Board of Health,” he said.

The SGF noted that access to funds would be contingent, among other things, on the provision of 25 percent of matching funds to local communities.

He acknowledged that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the operationalization of the 2018/2019 budget of the Basic Health Care Fund (BHCPF) with a credit of 55.1 billion naira.

Mustapha said that in 2020, 44.5 billion naira was set aside but revised to 25.5 billion naira (a drop of more than 42.5%) due to the shortfall caused by volatile oil prices. .

SGF noted that the 2021 appropriation bill recently presented to the National Assembly proposed the sum of 35.03 billion naira for the statutory transfer fund.

He praised Buhari’s commitment to ensure that quality basic health services are provided to the majority of Nigerians.

SGF stressed that “it is also in line with one of the main objectives of the economic recovery and growth plan – investing in the Nigerian people.

“In addition, the BHCPF is essential for achieving priority six (improving the health, education and productivity of Nigerians) of the nine priority areas guiding the policy directions of the Buhari administration over the years.

He lamented that despite the commitment demonstrated by the President over the years, the implementation of the fund remained a challenge.

“Millions of Nigerians in the 36 states and the CTF, who could have been potential beneficiaries of the Fund, still do not have access to basic health care, six years after the law was enacted.

“One of the significant manifestations of BHCPF’s failure to gain traction was the suboptimal state of our basic health system when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.

“Most importantly, the Fund has been structured to impact the poorest diseases of the population and improve primary health care services at the grassroots.

“Therefore, the slow implementation of the Fund is quickly becoming a missed opportunity for this administration to improve the quality of life of the 100 million Nigerians who are expected to be lifted out of poverty,” he said.

The SGF, however, expressed optimism that the committee, as a first step towards establishing an appropriate stakeholder coordination mechanism, would liaise with the Civil Service Reform Office.

He said their goals would be to obtain the highest level of political buy-in for the implementation of the fund and to update stakeholders on the status of the fund.

Mustapha urged the committee to have a common understanding of the challenges and bottlenecks in the implementation process and to agree on recommendations as action plans to accelerate progress in implementation.

He instructed them to establish the need for the stakeholder coordination framework and other mechanisms to maintain momentum and submit a final copy for approval to the reform committee.

Earlier in his speech, the Director General of the Civil Service Reform Office, Mr. Dasuki Arabi, said that it was observed that several factors were attributed to the slow implementation of the Fund.

He cited gaps in enabling law to include silence on the initiation, administration and governance of BHCPF, low state membership, low state readiness and rivalry between agencies.

Abari also said that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, one of the three disbursement gateways, was statutorily mandated to develop operational guidelines for the entire Fund.

He said this potentially poses challenges with the cooperation of the other two gateways, among others.

Arabi said the Civil Service Reform Office (BPSR), with the support of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) – Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), has undertaken a analysis of the current situation of the Fund. .

He said it was about uncovering the underlying issues and finding a way forward for faster implementation.

He said the analysis identified the root cause of the problems as the lack of synergy and agreement among stakeholders on how to resolve issues and move implementation forward for the benefit of citizens.

The Director General also said that the committee was formed to provide an effective stakeholder coordination mechanism for the updating of the Fund.

Mr. James Sule, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs, SGF Office, in his remarks described health as wealth and good health promotes the development of any nation.

He urged the committee to ensure that a good job is done to ensure that healthcare in Nigeria can improve and address the shortcomings that lead Nigerians to leave the country for treatment abroad.

Responding on behalf of the inaugurated committee members, Mr. Joseph Umaru, Federal Director of Facilitation, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn, said the team will ensure that the best is provided.

Umaru said the committee would work with the current administration’s desire to ensure that people, especially those at the grassroots and the most vulnerable, are drawn into development programs.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the committee members were drawn from the public and private health sectors, NGOs with health practitioners, the House of Representatives and Senate committees on health services. .

Others came from the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Ministry of Fice.

Source: NAN

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