The Federal Government has said that many Nigerians are yet to benefit from the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) six years after its creation.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said this on Tuesday in Abuja during the inauguration of a 15-man committee on Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
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This is as the Director General of the Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Mr. Arabi attributed the slow implementation of the Fund to gaps in the enabling Act and poor buy-in from the states.
The SGF was represented by David Adejo, the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs Office (PEAO) in the OSGF, who said that the fund was established to provide health services to vulnerable Nigerians.
A statement by the director of press, Office of the Government of the Federation (OSGF) Mr. Willie Bassey, quoted him as saying that the Federal Government is set to reform the health sector, particularly, the primary healthcare services.
He said the National Health Act (2014) has been empowered to increase the overall financing to the health sector and help improve access to primary health care services for Nigerians especially the poor and the vulnerable, particularly, women and children.
He said that the Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR), through engagements with critical stakeholders has developed a draft stakeholder coordination framework to help support an effective multi-stakeholder engagement toward a harmonized strategy for implementation of the Fund at national and sub-national levels.
Mustapha said that the reform was a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to reform the health sector to ensuring quality basic health care service to all Nigerians with emphasis on rural dwellers and the vulnerable in the society.
Speaking earlier, the Director-General of BPSR, Mr. Dasuki Arabi, said the purpose for establishing the BHCPF was to bring relief to good number of Nigerians who have never experienced proper basic healthcare, to reduce out of pocket expenses for health services in order to improve the quality of lives of the rural dwellers and the vulnerable people.
Mr. Arabi attributed the slow implementation of the Fund to gaps in the enabling Act, poor buy-in from the states and inter-agency rivalry amongst others.
“It is in a bid to revive the Fund that the BPSR with the support of development partners, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) undertook analysis of the current situation of the Fund in order to uncover the underlying issues and seek a way forward for speedy implementation,” Arabi said.
The BHCPF is the funding provision of the Federal Government- established under the National Health Act, 2014 (NHAct). The objective for the Act is to increase the overall financing to the health sector and help improve access to primary health care services for all Nigerians, especially the poor and the vulnerable with the overall goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.