By Hassan Zaggi
Following the signing into law of the budget by President Muhammadu Buhari, which set the stage for the implementation of the National Health Act (NHA), the Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC), has called for the strict adherence of section 11 of the Act.
The Coalition further warned that any other action outside the provisions of the NHA 2014 will be illegal and counterproductive.
The chairman of HSRC, Dr. Ben Ayene, who made the call at a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday, reiterated that Section 11 of the NHA 2014 provides clearly the steps to be taken towards implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
The Coalition further called for accountability, transparency and integrity in the disbursement and utilization of the fund.
“The coalition strongly believes that the N55.1Billion provided in the 2018 Federal budget will contribute to solving the intractable and chaotic health care delivery in Nigeria; but for this to happen, we call for accountability, transparency and integrity in the disbursement and utilization of the fund. We strongly recommend that all the provisions in this section are strictly adhered to.”
The Coalition further warned that “no one should try taking illegal actions, as doing so will directly contribute to further weakening of the national health system and causing more death among the teaming Nigerian population.”
The Coalition also insisted that the fund which is part of the consolidated revenue fund should be domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and only disbursed when the provisions in the Act are complied with.
While quoting section 11(7) of the NHA which stipulates that “the NPHCDA shall develop appropriate guidelines for the disbursement, administration and monitoring of the fund with the approval of the Minister, Dr. Ayene said: “It is worth noting that all health establishments in the country are operating illegally as none has complied with the provisions of Section 12 (Classification of Health Establishments) and Section 13 (Certificate of Standards)that PHC and Secondary Healthcare facilities are required to deliver on BHCPF.”
He, therefore, called on principal actors in the federal level (FMOH, NHIS and NPHCDA) the states and FCT to close ranks and work in synergy to deliver the dividends of the NHA to Nigerians in a timely manner.