By Hassan Zaggi
The Senate has vowed to take the needed steps to ensure that the one per cent Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) is made a statutory transfer.
The one per cent BHCPF which amounts to N55 billion is currently placed under capital expenditure.
Funds in the statutory transfers are always prioritized as they are not largely affected by scarcity of funds while funds placed under capital expenditure usually suffer severe budget cuts and poor implementation if there is any paucity of funds within the year.
BHCPF is a component of the National Health Act (NHA)-Section 11, which stipulates that an annual grant of the not less than one per cent will be made available from federal government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund. Other sources of the Fund include grants from international donor partners and other sources.
Fifty per cent of the BHCPF will be used for the provision of basic minimum package of health services to citizens in eligible primary or secondary health care facilities through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). 20% of the fund will be used for the provision of essential drugs, vaccines and consumable for eligible primary healthcare facilities.
On the other hand, 15% of the Fund will be used for the provision and maintenance of facilities, equipment and transport for eligible health care facilities; 10% of the Fund will be used for the development of human resources for primary healthcare and 5% of the Fund will be used for emergency medical treatment to be administered by a committee appointed by the National Council on Health (NCA).
Speaking at end of the second summit of the Legislative Network on Universal Health Coverage (UCH), in Abuja, yesterday, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, vowed to give the health sector the needed support for the good of all Nigerians.
Represented by the Senate Committee Chairman on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Dr. Saraki applauded the lawmakers from both federal and states for attending the summit and remaining to the end.
Speaking while declaring the summit close, the Senate Committee Chairman on Health, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, reiterated that: “ For me and members in the committee for health in both the Senate and House of Representative, we are going to ensure that we have a speedy approval of process of the policy to make this one per cent a statutory transfer.”
He, however, charged the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, to ensure prudent used of the one per cent BHCPF and ensure no amount is returned to the federation account due to inability of the health ministry to use it in good time.
“The minister is to ensure that one kobo is not returned to the treasury. Whatever you are going to do with our assistance, ensure that you finish that 55 million naira on primary healthcare and health insurance scheme this year before we now make it a statutory transfer,” emphasized.
Senator Tejuoso, on the other hand, charged members of state assemblies to take their oversight role seriously to ensure that the primary health centres in their states offer the services that are paid for and offer qualitative services.
He applauded the international partners for their support, expressing optimism that with the achievements recorded, their support will be doubled in the days ahead.