*Oyo, Lagos, Kano, Katsina, FCT, 11 other states get N6.5bn
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said that a total of N13.775 billion was released for the take off of the first phase of disbursement under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), out of which N6.5 billion were given to 15 states and the Federal Capital Teritory (FCT).
Edo, Katsina, Yobe, Delta, Adamawa, Bauchi, Anambra, Kaduna, Imo, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Ebonyi and Plateau states were among the ones that received first tranche of the healthcare fund.
Speaking at the official disbursement of the first tranche Tuesday, Ehanire said the 15 states and the FCT, that were already benefitting from the disbursement were those that had met the eligibility criteria set as at February 2019, adding that other states which have now met the eligibility criteria will be accommodated.
He said the BHCPF was to be administered through three gateways, namely, the NHIS, NPHCDA and the Federal Ministry of Health; adding that in the NHIS gateway, the National Health Insurance Scheme through the State Health Insurance Schemes will purchase a Basic Minimum Package of Healthcare Services for all participating Nigerians.
Enahire said: “Today, it is with deep pleasure and high expectations that I am here before you all to officially launch the first phase of disbursement of funds to benefitting states through the NHIS Gateway. For this initial phase of disbursement, a total of N13.775 billion has been released, of which the National Health Insurance Scheme will be disbursing N6.5 billion to fifteen states plus the FCT which had met the eligibility criteria as at February 2019.”
The minister commended the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, and the management of NHIS, for initiating the necessary reforms for repositioning the scheme and ensuring accountability and transparency in the BHCPF disbursement process.
He said that it was the expectation of the federal government that the money will be judiciously utilized by the benefiting states which will in turn reduce the hardship experienced by many Nigerians.
Prof. Sambo pledged that NHIS will continue with the ongoing reforms aimed at achieving value reorientation, tranparency, accountability and accelerating the attainment of universal health coverage.