Nigerian civic organisations under the aegis of the Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC) have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the inclusion of the 1% of Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation in the 2018 Appropriation Act to fund basic healthcare services.
It would be recalled that the National Assembly had on May 16, 2018 passed the 2018 Appropriation Act inclusive of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) which is to the tune of about N55.1 billion; 4 years after the National Health Act was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Act is aimed at ensuring more Nigerians particularly the poorest and most vulnerable populations are able to access quality healthcare services without undergoing financial hardship.
“The provision for Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) was made under Part 1, Section 11 of the NHAct (2014) stating that not less than 1% of the consolidated revenue fund (CRF) would be allocated to deliver basic minimum package of health services through a strengthened primary healthcare system, expanded health insurance coverage and improved access to emergency services,” says a press statement by the coalition made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday.
“We must make firm here that signing this statuary allocation of BHCPF for implementation along [with] the 2018 budget signifies adherence and respect to the rule of law and the constitutional provision of the country. Presidential assent to the BHCPF is vital to promote equity, efficiency, access, quality, accountability and sustainability of the health systems,” adds the statement.
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If assented to by the President and effectively implemented through timely cash backing and efficient funds utilization, the 1% CRF will guarantee access to quality healthcare to all Nigerians particularly at primary health care (PHC) level towards attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals.