FG Deepens Universal Health Coverage through BHCPF

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Raheem Akingbolu

The flag off of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in Osogbo, Osun State, recently is a signal that the Buhari administration is committed to massive delivery of health care reform in Africa, a statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Health has said.

According to the statement, the move, which guarantees essential health services to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians, has seen federal government demonstrating a strong commitment to the financing and delivery of primary health care services in the country through the BHCPF the federal government.

“The programme design employs a unique implementation approach backed by the 2014 National Health Act. The government will purchase and reimburse both public and private facilities for delivering an explicit and guaranteed package of services. These services include Ante-Natal Care, Delivery including Ceasarian Section, Family Planning, and treatment of childhood illnesses, treatment of malaria and screening and referral of Non- Communicable Diseases. In addition, publicly owned facilities will receive a defined amount of money at the beginning of every month to enable them improve the quality of services,” the statement said.

By transferring funds directly from the Central Bank through implementing agencies at the federal and state levels to accredited public and private primary health facilities where services are rendered, it was stated that the BHCPF governance arrangement ensures accountability and probity.

The statement also added that the quality of improvement in care provided will be measured using scorecards, adding that  performance and data management system underpinned by a robust ICT framework will be developed to enable State and Federal actors track performance.

It gave the list of development partners to include; the World Bank through the global financing facilities such as BMGF, USAID, DFID to support the funding and implementation of the BHCPF.

While the initiatives continue, the ministry has however stated that at least 20 states and the FCT have indicated interest in partaking in the programme, which will commence this month.