The federal government says it disbursed N86 billion for the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHPF) as of June.
The secretary of the oversight committee of the federal ministry of health, Chris Isokpunwu, disclosed this 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. The fund, inaugurated in 2019, was meant to strengthen public health facilities.
“With those releases, more than 7,000 primary health care centres operational fund on a quarterly basis to provide for essential medicines, transportation for vaccines and other medical consumables in the health sector,” stated Mr Isokpunwu. “It also provided for human resources 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.”
The goal is to have at least one functional PHC in each of the 8,809 political wards in Nigeria. He also said about 83 per cent of the target had been reached as over 7,500 PHCs had already been reached.
Mr Isokpunwu added 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 of 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,” explained Mr Isokpunwu.
He, however, said because the fund was not sufficient, the target currently are the poor and indigent Nigerians who could not afford medical treatment.
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.
“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,” added Mr Isokpunwu. “Any Nigerian that has an emergency will be treated without the question of who will pay.”
Source: Peoples Gazette.