Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said 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), adding that out of which N6.5 billion provided for 15 states and the Federal Capital Territory (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 fund healthcare fund.
Speaking at the official disbursement of the first tranche yesterday, Ehanire said the 15 states and the FCT that are already benefitting from the disbursement are those that had met the eligibility criteria set as at February 2019, adding that other states, which have now met the eligibility criteria would be accommodated later.
He said the BHCPF is 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 would purchase a Basic Minimum Package of Healthcare Services for all participating Nigerians.
According to him, “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 15 states plus the FCT which had met the eligibility criteria as at February 2019.”
The minister commended the NHIS Executive Secretary, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, and the management for initiating the necessary reforms for repositioning the scheme and ensuring accountability and transparency in the BHCPF disbursement process.
He said it’s the expectation of the federal government that the money would be judiciously utilised by the benefiting states, which would in turn reduce the hardship experienced by many Nigerians.
Sambo pledged that NHIS would continue with the ongoing reforms aimed at achieving value reorientation, transparency, accountability and accelerating the attainment of universal health coverage.