Kuni Tyessi, Abuja
The Health Sector Reform Coalition has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to give assent to the inclusion of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in the 2018 Appropriation act of the National Assembly.
While briefing Journalists on behalf of the coalition, Mr Luke Egboh urged states to make annual budgetary allocation sustainably meet the counterpart funding requirement for accessing the federal grant through the BHCPF.
He said: “We should work towards establishing state primary health care development agencies which is backed up by law”
Speaking further, he charged journalists to educate Nigerians on the benefit and provisions made for the citizens in the National Health Act. “When the citizens are fully aware of their right, they will be able to demand what is right and due for them.”
In the same vein, he urged media practitioners to ensure that the BHCPF is not taken out of the final approved budget, and should also ensure its successful application.
According to the coalition, civil society organisations will ensure that when the appropriation bill is signed, the funds will be used to improve the health system.
The ONE Campaign Country Director, Mrs Sarah Ugbabe noted that the crisis in the Nigerian health sector is made tragic by the failure to implement existing constitutionally backed law in the 2014 National Health Act. “We are calling on the president to sign the 2018 budget which contains full funding for the BHCPF.”
She reaffirmed that the 2018 budget appropriation bill passed by the National Assembly was an important step towards securing basic health care for all Nigerians. “We are calling on the president to sign the 2018 budget which contains full funding for the BHCPF.
“The allocation of one percent of the consolidated revenue for the BHCPF has brought Nigeria closer to fully implementing the 2014 National health act.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Centre for social justice, Eze Onyekpere said the National Assembly should reassign the BHCPF to statutory transfer before sending the budget bill to the president for assent.