The Federal Government said it has enrolled 1,042,890 indigent Nigerians into the Basic Health Care Provision Fund. The FG, however, said only 753,999 Nigerians in 24 states can assess free care. The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this on Thursday at the quarterly Ministerial Oversight Committee Meeting of the BHCPF held in Abuja. The BHCPF is enshrined in The National Health Act 2014 to improve the national health indices and achieve universal health coverage.
The BHCPF comprises one percent of the Federal Government Consolidated Revenue Fund and additional contributions from other funding sources. It is designed to support the effective delivery of Primary Health Care services, provision of a Basic Minimum Package of Health Services, and Emergency Medical Treatment to all Nigerians. Speaking, Dr. Ehanire said since the launch of the Fund in January 2019, the Federal Government has released a total of N89.0 billion to the fund and of this amount, a total of N56 billion has been disbursed to all the 36 states and FCT.
He also said further disbursement to eligible states will be presented for approval. The minister said, “With the disbursement so far made to states, we are providing operational funds to 7,250 primary healthcare facilities in 35 states and the FCT. “With this initiative, many of our primary health care facilities are now able to provide care for our people in the communities. The goal is to ensure at least one functional PHC in every ward of the Federation. “We have enrolled 1,042,890 poor and indigent Nigerians as beneficiaries of a comprehensive Basic Minimum Package of Health Services provided through health insurance, of which 753,999 in 24 States are now able to assess care free. “While we strive to increase the number of enrollees, we must now focus on ensuring that our people get the quality care they deserve. We also need to create demand for the services available at the facilities for all Nigerians.
To this end, a draft Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy will be presented to this committee for consideration, today (Thursday). “More importantly, we must entrench accountability and transparency in the implementation of the fund and ensure value for money. For this reason, I directed that all partners, beyond members of the MOC, be invited to this quarterly meeting convened to provide updates and the progress status of the BHCPF secretariat and also of the individual gateways. “The National Emergency Medical Treatment and Ambulance System has begun training paramedics as a prelude to the launch of the service in Nigeria. This will guarantee emergency medical treatment for all Nigerians. Further updates will be provided at this meeting.” Ehanire also announced that in line with the NCDC Act 2018, the NCDC gateway has been created as a fourth Gateway of the BHCPF and will now receive funding from the BHCPF.