FG commits N55bn to BHCP Funds ― Health Minister

world Bank $20m, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation $2m

THE Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole has stated that the Federal Government has committed N55 billion towards the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) programme.

Also the World Bank, through its Global Facility Financing has committed $20 million; while the Bill Gate and Melinda Foundation committed $2 million to the programme.

Prof Adewole made this known when he launched the enrollment of beneficiaries and take off of the Basic Health Care Provision Funds Programme, tagged “HUWE” in Minard, Niger State at the weekend.

The Minister, while flagging off the programme in Minna, acknowledged that slow progress on poverty reduction, health outcomes, literacy and other governance challenges have threatened the country development. He pointed out that 70% of total health expenditure in Nigeria is borne out of pocket, a far higher figure than the globally acceptable rate of 30-40%.

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This, according to him has remained a serious barrier to accessing care, adding however that the present administration was committed to the ugly situation and promote shared prosperity.

With the Flagg off of the programme, the minister said, “I am convinced that we will turn the tide on this,” adding, “I am positive that the programme will help reverse the poor health indices in the country. I am also hopeful that death during childbirth will be a thing of the past, and our children will no longer have to die as a result of vaccine-preventable diseases or other common ailments. Also, access to health care will not be limited because of not having money to pay.”

He pointed out that the programme had been flagged off earlier in Osun State before the Niger event, while it will also be flagged off in Katsina and Abia very soon, with plans for immediate roll out in other 17 states that have indicated interest and the FCT, Abuja.

Prof Adewole explained that money will flow directly to the facilities provided for the programme, where the poor and vulnerable will have free medical care.

Also speaking, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said the Flagg off of the programme is a major stride in an attempt to bridge these gaps, towards the provision of essential healthcare services, required human and financial resources.

He said: “During the unveiling of the Primary Healthcare Revitalisation agenda of the current administration in 2017, and as recent as the presentation of the 2019 budget estimates to the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari, reiterated his strong desire to establish a health system that priorities primary health care so that millions of Nigerians can receive the health care they need with financial risk protection. He further demonstrated his commitment to improving the quality of primary health care by providing 55 billion Naira towards the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.”

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