From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has inaugurated a 15-man committee on Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to reform the health sector, particularly, the primary healthcare services.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, at the inauguration ceremony, yesterday, said the aim of reforming the sector is to provide quality basic health care services to all Nigerians.
In a statement by Director of Information, Willie Bassey, the SGF, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs Office, David Adejo, said the National Health Act (2014) has been empowered to increase the overall financing to the health sector and help improve access to primary health care services for Nigerians, especially the poor and the vulnerable, particularly, women and children.
He said the Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR), through engagements with critical stakeholders, has developed a draft stakeholder coordination framework to help support an effective multi-stakeholder engagement toward a harmonised strategy for implementation of the fund at national and sub-national levels.
While inaugurating the committee, Mustapha said the reform was a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to reform the health sector to ensuring quality basic health care service to Nigerians with emphasis on rural dwellers and the vulnerable in the society.
SGF further said despite the budgetary allocation for the operationalisation of the BHCPF, many Nigerians have not benefitted from it since six years of its establishment emphasizing that the Joint Working Committee was constituted to provide an effective stakeholders’ coordination mechanism towards the actualisation of the fund.
Part of the terms of reference for the committee members, according to the SGF, is to bring stakeholders up to speed on the status of the fund, to proffer recommendations as action plans to fast track progress of implementation and to establish the need for the stakeholders’ coordination framework and other mechanisms to sustain momentum.
BPSR Director General, Dasuki Arabi, said the purpose for establishing BHCPF was to bring relief to good number of Nigerians who have never experienced proper basic healthcare, to reduce out of pocket expenses for health services in order to improve the quality of lives of the rural dwellers and the vulnerable people.