By Hassan Zaggi
National Advocates for Health (NA4H), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has applauded the federal government over the recent approval of the 2020 Revised Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) guideline.
It, however, called for speedy, transparent, and accountable implementation of the guidelines.
The group in a statement signed by its chairman, Prof Oladapo A. Ladipo, however, regretted that: “In the initial 2020 approved budget, the BHCPF, N44.50 billion was allocated and captured in the Part C of the 2020 approved budget ‘Statutory Transfers’. However, in the revised national budget assented in June 2020, the BHCPF only got N25 Billion. This is a major setback to the implementation of the BHCPF
“Non-compliance with Abuja declaration of Allocation of 15% of National revenue to the Health sector, gross under-funding of the health sector is partly responsible for our dysfunctional health care system, medical tourism and human capital flight to greener pastures by Health workers. Without any doubt this has resulted in inequitable distribution of Health manpower and unacceptable preventable mortality and morbidity.
“The revision of the BHCPF guidelines took too long, which necessitated temporary suspension of funds disbursement and implementation at state level and primary health care centers.”
The National Advocates, therefore, recommended that: “The 2020 BHCPF allocated budget of N25 billion should be released at once to the dedicated Federal Ministry of Health account in CBN for onward disbursement to NPHCDA and NHIS dedicated accounts.
“NPHCDA and NHIS should ensure speedy disbursement of funds to the 36 states plus FCT for onward disbursement to the designated and accredited primary health care centers bank accounts and for implementation of essential services.
“The FMoH should be publishing every quarter the total amount of funds disbursed to all the agencies and the amount disbursed to all the 36 states plus FCT. This will deepen transparency, accountability, and efficiency.
“The state governors agreed, to pay their 25% counterpart funding timely and captured in their annual approved budgets.
“The Federal Government to prioritize health as a political agenda and sustain its funding amid Coronavirus pandemic and crashed global oil price.”