The Federal Ministry of Health(FHOM), says that the government had made advance progress with the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), enrollment of most vulnerable citizens to receive a basic minimum package of health services across the country.
The Secretary of the Ministerial Oversight committee, for BHCPF of FMOH, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The National Health Act (NHAct) 2014 is a milestone in the national momentum to strengthen the health system, achieve universal health coverage (UHC), and improve health indices with the consequential improvement in economic productivity.
National commitment to UHC was symbolized by the passage of the National Health Act (NHAct) of 2014, which in Section 11, mandates the establishment of a BHCPF to support the effective delivery of primary and secondary health care services through the provision of a Basic Minimum Package of Healthcare Services (BMPHS) and Emergency Medical Treatment (EMT).
The NHAct 2014 was enacted to ensure improved health outcomes, by providing a legal framework for the provision of health care services and establishing an organizational and management structure for the health system in Nigeria. To achieve these important objectives, the NHAct specifies that all Nigerians shall be entitled to a BMPHS.
The BMPHS is a set of preventive, protective, promotive, curative, and rehabilitative health services to be developed and reviewed from time to time by the Honourable Minister of Health (HMH), in consultation with the National Council on Health (NCH).
Isokpunwu said that the new set of Guidelines defines the basis for Administration, Disbursement, Monitoring, and Financial Management (ADMFM) of the BHCPF, “The Fund”.
“They set out the processes to be applied, the responsibilities of various stakeholders including (but not limited to) participating healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, Federal Government parastatals NHIS, the NPHCDA, State Governments, Local Governments and their participating agencies including State Primary Health Care Development Agencies (SPHCDAs) and the accompanying accountability expectations contingent on these responsibilities.
“Guidelines ensure the Fund supports current health priorities
These Guidelines have been drawn up with specific reference to the NHA, 2014, alignment with national health policy, and following wide-ranging consultations with all relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian healthcare sector.
“The Guidelines address urgent interventions put in place to tackle persistent and emerging causes of population mortality in Nigeria including Maternal Mortality, Perinatal Mortality and Medical Emergencies including; Road Traffic Injuries (RTIs).
“They define the minimum performance standards stakeholders are expected to adopt, implement and comply with to meet stipulations set out in these Guidelines.
“They also provide a framework for realizing the strategic objective of the health sector and is consistent with the broader goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all Nigerians.
The fund guarantees equity and access for improved outcomes,” he explained.
He added that the overriding objective for the development of these Guidelines was ensuring efficient disbursement of the Fund to services, which catalyze improved health outcomes.
“Emphasis was also on safeguarding quality in health service delivery as well as entrenching a robust accountability and probity framework, to guarantee prudent financial management of public funds,”
Isokpunwu disclosed that the FMOH would collaborate with stakeholders, CSOs, media, and other partners across the country to ensure accountability and quality service delivery on the BHCPF across the country.
“We are working with LISDEL in the coming months to revise, update, and build on the existing communication strategy in line with the current BHCPF. The strategy, when approved will, ensure that the public is well informed about BHCPF,” he disclosed.