BHCPF: Nigerians will not be required to pay for ER before treatment, FG says

Osagie Ehanire, Nigerian Minister of Health, at a press briefing in Abuja… Wednesday

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) says the Basic Health Care Provision (BHCPF) will ensure emergency medical treatment for all Nigerians at the point of care.

Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, Ministerial Oversight Committee Secretary, for BHCPF, FMOH, said this on Monday during a two-day capacity building themed “Enhancing the visibility and capacity of the Assembly Health Committee to catalyze progress towards UHC”. It was organized by the Legislative Initiative for Sustainable Development (LISDEL) and its partners.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that LISDEL, conceived as an indigenous non-profit organization, has part of its mission to support efforts to strengthen health systems in Nigeria, with the support of partners in collaboration with the Universal Health Legislative Network. Coverage (LNUHC), to build the visibility and capacity 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, implemented by LISDEL at national and state levels. The event is aimed at key stakeholders in the legislature to enhance the application of their roles and functions to ensure the expansion of financial health risk protection mechanisms to vulnerable populations in the country.

It includes the following objectives: Review of the progress of the health legislative agenda/work plan and the priorities set to be achieved at the start of the current Assembly; identify approaches to mitigate challenges; and establish new priorities based on the results of the monitoring process.

To improve the knowledge of Registrars and Secretaries of Health Committees on general concepts of health financing and UHC, related to existing reforms in Nigeria including the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) and how their roles can strengthen their implementations.

Isokpunwu said the BHCPF provides emergency medical treatment, with 5% administered by the National Emergency Medical Treatment Committee (NEMTC) appointed by the National Health Council (NCH).

“Primary Health Care (PHC) is noted as the foundation of health care delivery and this fundamental role is recognized by the NHAct, in sections designed to strengthen PHC.

“The healthcare agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is centered on establishing at least one fully functional primary healthcare center in each political ward, with the ultimate goal of ensuring UHC; the BHCPF is critical to delivering this agenda,” he explained.

He said the objectives of the BHCPF were; achieve at least one fully functional public or private PHC center in each political constituency; at least 30% of all neighborhoods within the next three years, 70% within five years and 100% within seven years.

“Build at least 3 (three) fully functional public or private secondary health facilities, benefiting from the BHCPF in each State; at least 50% of all states within the next 3 years and 100% within 5 years.

“Establish effective emergency medical response services in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) within five years, including a national ambulance service.

“Reduce personal expenses by 30% in five years and increase financial risk protection through health insurance.

“To increase life expectancy to at least 60 over the next 10 years,” he explained.

Dr Francis Ukwuije, Health Economist, World Health Organization (WHO), said health financing is about mobilizing, accumulating, allocating and using resources to help countries progress towards goals such as UHC.

Ukwuije said the amount of money spent on health issues, but where the money came from and how the funding was structured was also important.

“Generate sufficient and sustainable income efficiently and equitably.

“Managing revenues to pool health risks effectively and equitably.

“Ensure the allocation of resources and the purchase of health services in an equitable, technical and efficient manner,” he said.

He noted that health risks were heavily skewed: 10% of the population usually consume 60% of total health expenditure; 30 percent had no expenses.

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