By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Federal Government has launched the National Strategic Health Development Plan II (NSHDP) 2018 -2022 and rolled out the implementation of Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF).
Launching the document, kick starting the commencement of the BHCPF and supervising the disbursement of Funds to high performing States under the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOML-Pfor R) in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari said that the Strategic Health Development Plan and the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund were geared towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.
A statement issued yesterday by Boade Akinola, Director, Media and Public Relations in the Ministry of Health said President Buhari said his administration had provided N55 Billion to cater for Basic Healthcare Provision Fund in fulfilment of the National Health Act 2014 which stipulated that 1% of the consolidated revenue shall be allocated to health sector.
It said the President added that international partners such as World Bank, Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation and USAID would also contribute to the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
To ensure sustainability, the President assured that transparency and accountability mechanism had been put in place to ensure that there was no corruption in the use of the fund.
The first six states to benefit from the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund are Abia, Niger, Osun, Katsina, Yobe, Edo and FCT.
The President who was represented by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, also reiterated that efforts to revitalized healthcare system was to ensure that quality healthcare services was delivered to majority of Nigerians irrespective of their education or social status in the country.
“We shall focus more on the people leaving in the rural areas and the vulnerable population in our society, such as women, children under five years of age and the elderly, Buhari emphasized”
In his remarks, the Hon. Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole said that the NSHDP II was designed to enable Federal and States government implement health policies in the country according to laid down procedure.
He added that the document which was approved on Wednesday 5th September 2018 by the Federal Executive Council had the overall goal of ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being of Nigeria populace.
He also assured that implementation of the plan would in next five years greatly improve the Nigeria health system and also drastically reduce maternal mortality rate.
Speaking on the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, the Minister said Nigerians would benefit from 52 healthcare service interventions in the hospitals practising the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund Programme, free of charge.
The free services, Adewole hinted, would cover antenatal care, labor and Delivery care (including caesarian sections) and Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal care.
Speaking on behalf of the 36 State Governors, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the role of Governors in the implementation of healthcare progammes was crucial because Health was on the concurrent list.
Governor Fayemi pledged faithful implementation of the BHPF programme and the judicious use of funds allocated for health services to ensure that Nigerians at the grassroot enjoyed quality healthcare as stipulated by the programme.
He further informed that 21 States had promulgated the Health Insurance Funding adding that in some States, 2% of their budget had been committed to such scheme. This commitment from the States was important because according to him “we cannot build the human capital of any Nation if we don’t invest in the health of our people”