The National Council on Health (NCH) has approved guidelines for the 2020 Basic Health care Provision Fund (BHCPF), which was stepped down in June this year. Paramount amongst the challenges earlier faced by the BHCPF, was the reluctance of State Governors to accommodate the health financing arrangement.
However, approval for the BHCPF guideline came at a virtual meeting hosted from Abuja, following a motion raised by the Commissioner for Health of Kogi State and seconded by the Commissioner for Health of Borno State. The Council, presided by the Minister of Health, is the highest advisory body on health care and health issues in the country. Other members are the Minister of State for Health, State Commissioners of Health, the Secretary for Health and Human Services in Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire who described the BHCPF as an irrevocable testament of Nigeria’s commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which was enshrined in the National health Act 2014, said the guideline was the outcome of extensive conversations, consultation, and consensus between representative bodies of the Federal and State Governments, Legislators, Partners, CSOs and the Private sector. In his words: “It is a large-scale reform, aimed at expanding the fiscal space for health and shifting financial resource to the front lines of care.
“The BHCPF represents a sustainable model for ensuring equity and financial risk protection for the nation’s vulnerable populations, by guaranteeing effective access to a Basic Minimum Package of Health Services, funded from not less than one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, financial grants from local and international donors, partners, the private sector and philanthropic individuals.”