7th BHCPF MOC: Nigeria’s Health Minister Approves 12.9 Bn For Improved Health Care Services

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Nigeria’s Coordinating Health and Social Welfare Minister, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, through the Ministerial Oversight Committee for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), has approved the disbursement of an additional 12.9 bn to state governments for utilisation in health care services for the third quarter of 2024.

This is in consonance with the BHCPF Guidelines, 2020 for improved transparency, accountability, and sustainability in the country’s healthcare system.

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Under his leadership as the Chairman of the Ministerial Oversight Committee, Prof. Pate said the funds will be maximally integrated into the sector-wide program, as outlined in the BHCPF 2020 guidelines.

“Once fully implemented, it will ensure better allocation of resources to enhance Nigeria’s health outcomes by saving lives and promoting overall health”, Prof. Pate said on Thursday in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, during the 7th BHCP Ministerial Oversight Committee Meeting.

While revealing that the reform of BHCPF is not just a formality, but a comprehensive financial restructuring that exceeds government’s current funding levels, aimed at revitalizing primary healthcare services, he said these outcomes encompass improved antenatal care coverage, enhanced skilled-birth attendance, reduced stunting and wasting, lower adolescent birth rates, fewer zero-dose children, higher rates of children aged 0-12 months fully immunized, and expanded health insurance coverage.

Calling for urgent comprehensive reforms of the BHCPF, he said it should align with the country’s Health Sector Renewal Initiative that was approved by the 64th NCH. It should also be in consonance with President Bola Tinubu’s endorsement of a Sector-Wide Approach.

Dr. Muyi Aina, Executive Director/Chief Executive of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) updated the press on proceedings at the MOC meeting, highlighting the various presentations from the gateways, including the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), the NCDC, and the Emergency Transport Services (ETS), as well as the Ministerial Oversight Committee Secretariat and the Sector-Wide Approach office.

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“A number of activities took place beyond the proceedings, memos were submitted to the MOC and were approved. The first memo was a joint one that presented reforms from the NCDC gateway, as well as the EMC’s, Dr. Aina said.

“You may recollect that both the NHIA gateway and the NPHCA gateway had previously presented reforms that we are proposing will go into the next phase of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund Programme 2.0.

“Those reforms are beginning to be implemented and will be reflected in the revised guidelines which will be available in about a month. Both the NCDC and AMD really presented their reforms which again included the programatic themes.

“For NCDC, it is how they are focusing and the way it will be ran at the state snd national levels to ensure that the resources are utilised appropriately. It is similar for the EMT as well. We also learnt how to collaborate with other gateways and get value on how to utilise these resources. The second memo was really for the disbursement”, he stated.

The Director General/Chief Executive of The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Kelechi Ohiri said the MOC meeting focused on promoting transparency and accountability for the utilization of funds.

Dr. Ohiri disclosed that funds for the last Quarter were reviewed with the media and civil society for accountability sake. While stating that about 2.7 million Nigerians are currently enrolled in insurance programs, he said the approved 12.9 bn funds will motivate state governments to do more, efforts -wise to support disadvantaged residents in the state.

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