Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, NGF Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, made the call at a high-level forum on the SDG panel discussion on “Universal Coverage and Basic Health Fund” on the sidelines of the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit.
Tambuwal said that increased funding would ensure more Nigerians had access to healthcare services and would reduce the out-of-pocket burden for healthcare services.
“On financing, we have defended in this interactive session that, since the basic health provision fund law says that at least one percent must be allocated annually.
“We can trust that provision that says at least go up to two or three percent,” he said.
He pointed out that inadequate financing and human resources, as well as insecurity were the downfall for the effective implementation of the Basic Primary Health Care Fund (BPHC) in the country.
“That’s another solution to funding constraints and then private sector participation in funding and all of the partners that are in health care should possibly provide some funding to the primary health care projects that we’re doing. in all our states.
“Insecurity demands collective efforts as the federal government and states are doing everything they can to ensure we stem the tide, so it is an ongoing effort.
“We have to work hard to improve the packaging and well-being of our medical staff, both in the federal and state governments, so that we can stop the brain drain problem and challenge in Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking about the proposed state tax financing for health, Tambuwal assured that the issue will be brought up at the next meeting of the Economic Council for deliberation and possible outcomes.
“We will present it at the next meeting of the economic council that the president will preside over, where the minister will attend and all the state governors are expected to attend.
“And once we have the consensus from the governors and the NEC, we believe it will go into effect,” he said.
For her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, said that a framework had been designed to monitor and ensure accountability in the disbursement and utilization of HMOs from the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF). ).
“In order to isolate the Fund for Basic Medical Care, we have taken steps to place them in the front line category, which means that, on a constant basis, one percent was accumulated from the federal account to that fund.
“We want to make sure that what is provided is used and used correctly.
“For our part, we have committed to ensuring increased funding for the health sector, not only for the fund, but also for the public health sector in general.
“In the 2023 budget, the total aggregate budget for the Health sector is 8 percent,” he said.
In addition, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, Director and Secretary of the Ministerial Oversight Committee (MOC), BHCPF, highlighted the need to block leaks and institutionalize accountability, as well as increase contributory funding for the BHCPF to 25 percent.
Isokpunwu revealed that according to available statistics, one trillion naira was needed annually to effectively cover basic health care for Nigerians.
“There are at least 86 million to 100 million Nigerians as each of our recipients will pay 12,000 naira per year for now.
“So if we have 86 million people on board at N12,000, that’s about a trillion naira including operating cost and all of that per year, because the premium will pay for each of our recipients for one year.
“So every year we have to pay for those beneficiaries until they get out of poverty. The whole essence of this is to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses of Nigerians,” he said.
On counter-financing, Isokpunwu added that “states must demonstrate in their budgets that they have released an amount equal to 25 percent of what we have disbursed to them for primary health care and social health insurance services.
“Any state that has met that condition will appear to have met it and qualified for additional spending,” he said.
==============Edited /Sadiya Hamza
Source Credit: NAN