NGO Tasks Govt. On Implementation Of Basic Healthcare Fund
NGO Tasks Govt. On Implementation Of Basic Healthcare Fund – Mr Adah Shem, the Executive Director, Advocacy for Development, Health and Environmental Sustainability, an NGO, has called on the Federal Government to speed up the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
Shem who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja identified the implementation of the fund as key in the reduction of maternal and newborn death currently bedevilling the country.
“BHCPF has been widely acknowledged in the healthcare community as one of the major panaceas to tackling many of the healthcare issues in the country.
“It has been approved, accented by the President Mohammadu Buhari but where we are stuck in the release of funds; government need to be committed in the release of funds.
“A lot of committees have been set up to look into it but we are tired of these books on the table, we want to see these books affecting lives and this can only be possible when these funds are released,” Shem said.
NAN reports that the BHCPF is a fund allocation in the 2014 National Health Act meant to cater for the basic healthcare needs of all Nigerians; it provides the platform to expand a high impact and life-saving interventions to all Nigerians.
It stipulates that one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund in the 2018 national budget and other subsequent ones will be deployed for the revival of the health sector.
BHCPF intended at ensuring monies are disbursed, managed and accounted for in a transparent manner, as well as ensure that funds flow from the Federal Government to service delivery points and creating performance incentives for providers.
It also ensures increasing service utilisation and health worker productivity, monitoring and improvements in service delivery.
Shem condemned the deplorable state of healthcare delivery in rural communities blaming it on inadequate funding of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) saddled with the responsibilities of ensuring improved health services among others at various communities.
The Executive Director specifically noted that some communities within the country are really undergoing neglect in terms of health care provisions and access to care due to inadequate funding of the NPHCDA.
According to him, due to this lapses we see Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) with cases of understaffing, lack of capacity and institutional support, non-equip Laboratories, pregnant women delivery with candles due to lack of electricity supply among others.
He described the deplorable state as unhealthy and inimical to the nation’s quest of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Shem said that the government must prioritise the health of the populace especially the vulnerable group in the society by funding the BHCPF to guarantee the realisation of SDGs and development in totality.
“We are advocating that with the introduction of BHCPF we will be able to move the health system of the country forward.
“We also advocate that the policy guidelines if enshrine in our programmes, cases of maternal and child health that has in the past witness neglect, will receive attention.
“So, we are calling on government and all stakeholders to put their hands on deck to achieve a common goal for the people so that we can reduce issues of death because of access to health care services,” he said.
Shem noted that the organisation was partnering with other civil society groups like the ONE Campaign to ensure implementation of the funds.
He says “We are interested in the management of the fund, we intended seeing efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability”.
The Executive Director decried the mismanagement of some health sector funds.
He laid emphasis on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among other policies so far implemented by the government.