FG disburses N86bn for Basic Healthcare Provision Fund – Official 

The Federal Government says it disbursed N86 billion for the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHPF) as at June.

The Secretary of the Oversight Committee of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Chris Isokpunwu, made this known on Monday in Abuja at a ministerial media conference on the developments in the health sector.

According to him, about N56 billion has so far been disbursed to the states out of the amount stated.

He said that the fund, inaugurated in 2019, was meant to strengthen public health facilities.

”With those releases, more than 7,000 Primary Health Care (PHC) centers get operational fund on a quarterly basis to provide for essential medicines, transportation for vaccines and other medical consumables in the health sector.

”It also provided for human resource for health and more than 1,500 midwives have been engaged with the fund.

”It is also used to maintain the building and infrastructure and equipment in the PHCs,” he said, indicating that the goal was to ensure that there was at least one functional PHC in each of the 8,809 political wards in the country.

He also said that about 83 per cent of the target had been reached as over 7,500 PHCs had already been reached.

Isokpunwu said that the fund was established to strengthen the PHC system, provide basic minimum package of health services for all Nigerians, especially the poor and indigents, and provide emergency medical treatment.

According to him, the basic minimum package of health services is a comprehensive package of preventive, curative, rehabilitative provision including education for the prevention of illnesses and the promotion of health of Nigerians.

”As at today 1,040 million poor and indigent Nigerians have been enrolled to have access to basic minimum package of health services.

”This means that these people that have been enrolled in 35 out of the 36 states and the FCT now have access to free medical treatment for common ailments and even surgeries, taking care of a broad spectrum of health conditions that Nigerians may and will be exposed to.”

He, however, said because the fund was not sufficient, the target currently are the poor and indigent Nigerians who could not afford medical treatment.

He said that the goal is also to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses they incurred.

This, he said, would pull them out of poverty and contribute to the federal government’s objective of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

He said: ”750,000 of them are currently accessing the services and more than 6,500 facilities are receiving funds for the treatment of these people.”

He said that it would ensure the provision of guaranteed emergency medical treatment for all Nigerians, adding that arrangements were at an advanced stage to inaugurate it soon.

“Upon its inauguration, all Nigerians will be guaranteed in the event of emergency that they will receive treatment at urgent care centres and for those poor and indigent ones who cannot pay, the BHPF will guarantee their payment.

”Any Nigerian that has an emergency will be treated without the question of who will pay.”