By Joseph Erunke – Abuja
The National Council on Health, NCH, has approved the 2020 Basic Health Care Provision Fund, BHCPF, a guideline which the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire proposed to the highest policy advisory body on health matters.
A statement Friday, by Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Information, Media, and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Health, said the approval was made at the council’s meeting held on Thursday, 6th August 2020.
“The Guideline was earlier stepped down in the meeting held on 6th August 2020,” the statement read.
It read further: “The National Council on Health (NCH) is the highest advisory body on health care and health issues in Nigeria.
“Membership of NCH is composed of the Honourable Ministers of Health and the Commissioners of Health in the States of the Federation as well as the Secretary for Health and Human Services in Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“The NCH Meeting which approved the BHCPF was the second (2nd) in the series of emergency NCH which was held virtually with the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire presiding.
“It was attended by 28 Commissioners of Health from the States and Secretary in charge of Health in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) along with the Honourable Minister of State, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora. The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi was also in attendance.
“The approval of the BHCPF was done through a motion by the Honourable Commissioner for Health of Kogi State and seconded by the Honourable Commissioner for Health of Borno State.
“The BCHPF has undergone processes which allayed the earlier objections from the Governors of the States who were not willing to accommodate and health financing arrangement where they would have to come in to finance to the extent they weren’t prepared for, before finally getting approved by the National Council on Health on 6th of August, 2020.”
The BHCPF, according to the statement, ” is derived from an annual grant from the Federal Government of Nigeria of not less than one per cent (1%) of its Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF); grants by international donor partners; funds from any other sources, inclusive of the private sector.
Its implementation is aimed at increasing the fiscal space for health, strengthening the national health system particularly at PHC level, and ensuring access to care for Nigerians particularly the poor, contributing to overall national productivity.”
It added: “The Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) Guideline for the Administration, Disbursement, and Monitoring of the BHCPF was developed by the NPHCDA in collaboration with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and National Emergency Medical Treatment Committee (NEMTC) in June 2020.
“Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Honourable Minister of Health in his foreword to the BHCPF document, describes the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) as enshrined in the National Health Act 2014, as an irrevocable testament of Nigeria’s commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage.
“It is a large-scale reform, aimed at expanding the fiscal space for health and shifting financial resources to the front lines of care.
“The BHCPF represents a sustainable model for ensuring equity and financial risk protection for the nation’s vulnerable populations, by guaranteeing effective access to a Basic Minimum Package of Health Services, funded from not less than one percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, financial grants from local and international donors, partners, the private sector and philanthropic individuals. It is envisaged that the prudent application of the fund would positively reverse our National health indices and place Nigeria firmly on the path to Universal Health Coverage.”
“This NCH approved Guideline is the outcome of extensive conversations, consultation, and consensus between representative bodies of the Federal and State Governments, Legislators, Partners, CSOs, and the Private sector.”