Home News FG to release N50bn for Basic Healthcare Fund

FG to release N50bn for Basic Healthcare Fund

by Haruna Gimba

By Haruna Gimba

The Federal Government of Nigeria will release N50 billion as first tranche for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), as part of effort to improve healthcare systems in the country.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate disclosed this Wednesday during a Ministerial Press Briefing in Abuja.

He said the funds will breathe new life into the Nigeria’s Primary Health Care facilities.

Prof. Pate added that it will ascertain quality care is accessible to all Nigerians.

Highlighting strides made by the administration of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, in advancing the health sector, since inception of May 2023. Prof Pate said that the commitment of the administration is to enhance healthcare accessibility, affordability, and quality.

He expressed that the progress has been unwavering, and “I am proud to share the significant achievements we have accomplished thus far.”

According to the minister, primary health care is to ensure the well-being of the citizens.

“Since assuming office, we have prioritized the revitalization of primary healthcare facilities across the nation, ensuring they are adequately equipped and staffed to provide essential services to communities.

“Through sustained investment and strategic partnerships, we have expanded access to vital healthcare services, particularly in rural and underserved areas, improving health outcomes and reducing the burden of preventable diseases.”

Prof. Pate said that the administration has recorded an increase in the proportion of women who attend ANC. “Over 550,000 women now attend their first ANC and are armed with the right information and care to improve their pregnancy outcomes and reduce maternal and child mortality. The achievements we have recorded signal progress and improvements.

“To sustain and continue to build on these gains, in the last six months, the Government of Nigeria recruited 2,497 Doctors, Midwives/Nurses, and CHEWs to bridge the gaps due to attrition. An additional 1,400 health facilities now have Skilled Birth Attendants to assist in deliveries at the health facilities. This has increased the number of health facility deliveries to as high as 230,000 deliveries per month.”

The minister revealed that the Federal Government has made substantial strides in expanding health insurance coverage.

“Recognizing that financial barriers often deter individuals from seeking medical care, we have worked tirelessly to increase the accessibility and affordability of health insurance schemes.

“By supporting enrollment initiatives and streamlining administrative processes, we have extended coverage to millions of Nigerians, safeguarding them against the financial hardships associated with healthcare expenses.”

Pate expressed hope that with the launch of the HPV vaccine in October 2023 across 15 states plus the FCT, “we have successfully vaccinated more than 4,95 million eligible girls aged 9-14 years representing 80% of eligible girls.

“The Phase 2 introduction is scheduled for May 2024 in Anambra, Borno, Cross-river, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Kogi, Ondo, Rivers, Oyo, Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Yobe, Plateau and Zamfara.

“Pre-implementation activities have commenced to ensure a successful phase 2 introduction, a crucial milestone in our ongoing efforts to combat cervical cancer.

“By prioritizing preventive measures and expanding access to life-saving vaccines, we are taking proactive steps to protect the health and well-being of our women and girls, ensuring a healthier future for generations to come.”

Pate stated that significant increase in patient attendance at federal tertiary hospitals, a testament to the improved quality of care and confidence in our healthcare system.

“Through targeted investments in infrastructure, technology, and human capital, we will enhance the capacity of these institutions to deliver specialized medical services and handle complex health conditions, ensuring that every Nigerian has access to world-class healthcare when needed.

“Our commitment to improving tertiary healthcare services is unwavering. Twelve tertiary hospitals/centers have been earmarked for infrastructure development, including the establishment of oncology centers, radiology centers, and diagnostics facilities.

“These investments will enhance our capacity to provide specialized care and meet the evolving healthcare needs of our people,” he added.

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