BPSR Unveils Policy Framework for Healthcare Fund Stakeholders

The Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) has unveiled a coordinating framework for governance actors of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF).

According to Mr. Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, the Director General (DG) of the Agency, the specific objective of the BHCPF is to extend Primary Health Care (PHC) to all Nigerians by substantialy increasing the level of financial resources to all servicea.

“It provides for improved funding of health care services at the grassroot so that people don’t have to travel far to access medical services. Other objectives include to enable the States to also participate in improving health centres through a counterpart fund that would enable them to benefit from the consolidated funds,” he said.

The stakeholders currently involved in the BHCPF implementation project include Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Health, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), State Ministries of Heath, International Donor Partners, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), among others.

Arabi, noted that the lack of commitment on the part of State Governments in contributing the 25% counterpart funding made it difficult for them to access the fund.

He said: “Out of the 15 States that have fulfilled criteria for accessing the N6.5 billion earmarked for disbursement via the NHIS gateway, only two have had access as at January 2020, while 58.3% are yet to meet the criteria.

“Also, record has it that of Nigeria’s 36 States and FCT, only 11 have State Social Health Insurance Scheme (SSHIS) established for providing access to healthcare, which is a critical criterion for the implementation of the Fund. By implication, more than 75% of the States are already disenfranchised to benefit from this Fund.”

He assured that BPSR will work with relevant authorities to broker dialogue/reconciliation across the federal, state and LG actors.

The BPSR Director General, noted that their Bureau will also set up both working and learning mechanism among the actors, using standardization tool such as ‘Community of Practice’.

“We will also work with relevant agencies to facilitate digitalization of the whole process involved in the implementation of the Fund. We will also create communication mechanism/strategy for reporting fund implementation performance,” Arabi promised.

The BPSR management led by Arabi, has held virtual meetings with NHIS, NPHCS and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health.

The Bureau’s management team has also visited the National Assembly (NASS), and is already finalizing plan to meet with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), any time soon.

By PRNigeria