Health experts and civil society organizations working under the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (PAS) project Monday called for proper utilization of the basic healthcare provision funds, provided for by the 2014 National Health Act (NHAct), in Kano state.
The call was made by the members of the PAS coalition of CSOs whose major demand is increased and sustained funding of public health including Primary Health Care, during a press conference in Kano.
The Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) is a Federal Government initiative that supports effective delivery of primary health care services by ensuring the provision of a basic minimum package of health services and emergency medical treatment for all Nigerians .The BHCPF is funded by 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), as stipulated by the NHAct.
The Act allows states that have fulfilled certain conditions to assess the BHCPF; Kano is one of the states that have joined the BHCPF and has already received the second tranche of funds to the tune of NGN948 million.
50% of the Federal Government’s BHPCF monies are to be accessed by State-Supported Health Insurance Schemes (SSHISs) through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to be utilized for service provision and facilities maintenance while 45% of the funds will be accessed by the various State Primary Health Care Management Boards (SPHCMBs), through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), to support the apex primary health care centers of all political wards of the country, particularly in the area of the provision of healthcare services to members of the vulnerable groups including pregnant women and under 5 children.
Moreover, 2.5% of the BHPCF would be paid to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for provision of emergency care during the outbreak of epidemics such as Ebola and Lassa Fever while the remaining 2.5% will be used to fund emergency care for the victims of road traffic accidents on federal highways.
In recent decades, funding for the health sector in Nigeria has been poor making it difficult for indigent Nigerians to access quality healthcare services, without much financial difficulty. For the first time since the 2014 NHAct came into being, in 2018, the sum of NGN55.5 billion was appropriated for in the federal budget for the BHPCF. However, only NGN 12.7 billion was released while in 2019 out of the NGN51.22 billion allocated, only N15b was approved and just N6.5 was disbursed.
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