By Iyema David
The Federal Government said the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) will guarantee emergency medical treatment for all Nigerians at the point of care.
Dr Chris Isokpunwu, Secretary of the Ministerial Oversight committee, for BHCPF, at the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) said this at a two-day capacity building with the theme “Enhancing Salience and Capacity of Health Committee of National Assembly to Catalyse Progress towards UHC.”
The workshop was organised by the Legislative Initiative for Sustainable Development (LISDEL), and partners.
LISDEL, conceived as an indigenous not-for-profit organization, has part of its mission to support health systems strengthening efforts in Nigeria, with support from partners in collaborating with the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage (LNUHC), to enhance the salience and capacities of key government stakeholders to effectively influence health system strengthening efforts towards achieving UHC in Nigeria.
This intervention is part of the objectives of the “Strengthening Government Partnerships and Advocacy for PHC (SPAG) Project”, being implemented by LISDEL at the national and state levels. The event is targeted at key stakeholders in the legislature to enhance the application of their roles and functions to ensure the expansion of health financial risk protection mechanisms to vulnerable populations in the country.
It includes the following objectives: Review of progress of the legislative health agenda/work plan and priorities resolved to be achieved at the inception of the current Assembly; identify approaches to mitigate challenges; and to set new priorities based on the outcomes of the tracking process.
Enhance the knowledge of clerks and health committee secretaries around broad health financing and UHC concepts, linked to existing reforms in Nigeria, including the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) and how their roles can strengthen their implementations.
Isokpunwu said that the BHCPF provides Emergency Medical Treatment, with five per cent to be administered by the National Emergency Medical Treatment Committee (NEMTC) as appointed by the National Council on Health (NCH).
“It is noted that primary health care (PHC) is the foundation for the provision of health care and this fundamental role is recognised by the NHAct, in sections designed to strengthen PHC.
“The health care agenda of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is centred around the establishment of at least one fully functional primary health care centre in every political ward, with the ultimate objective of ensuring UHC; the BHCPF is key to accomplishing this agenda,” he explained.
He said that the objectives of the BHCPF were; to achieve at least one fully functional public or private PHC, facility in each political ward; at least 30 per cent of all wards over the next three years, 70 per cent within five years, and 100 per cent within seven years.
“To achieve at least three fully functional public or private secondary health care facilities, benefitting from the BHCPF in each state; at least 50 per cent of all states over the next 3 years, and 100 per cent within five years.
“To establish effective emergency medical response services in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in five years, including a national ambulance service.
“To reduce out-of-pocket expenditure by 30 per cent in five years and increase financial risk protection through health insurance. To increase life expectancy to at least 60 years over the next 10 years,” he explained.