The National Steering Committee of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund has signed its operational guidelines in order to start Phase 1 of the fund.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, made this known in a statement posted on his twitter handle @IsaacFAdewole on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the National Health Bill was signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan on Dec. 9, 2014.
The Act provides for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund aimed at providing access to basic health care services for Nigerians.
The Fund is to be financed by not less than one per cent of the Federal Government Annual Consolidated Revenue.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) will manage 45 per cent of the Fund to be disbursed through states and FCT Primary Health Care Development Board.
Twenty per cent of the 45 per cent fund would be for essential drugs, vaccines and consumables, 15 per cent for provision and maintenance of facilities, laboratory equipment and transport.
Ten per cent of the fund would go for development of human resources for health.
Reacting to the development, Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, NPHCDA told NAN that the phase 1 of the programme would be rolled out in Niger, Abia, Yobe, Edo, Osun, Katsina and the FCT.
He added that BHCPF would be a unique opportunity for the vulnerable groups to access quality and affordable health care services at primary health care centers.
Shuaib said because government had provided BHCPF, women and children would not pay to access basic health services including Ante Natal care and delivery.
Shuaib reiterated that 45 per cent of the Fund coming to NPHCDA would go towards a package for the payment of vaccines for health facilities.
He added that the remaining part of the fund would go to the Community Health Influencers and Promoters (CHIPs) programme.
“The whole idea is to ensure that the funds are used efficiently and transparently.
“The model we are using will require that most of these funds will go to the states and PHC Centers directly where the funds will be used.
“So, there will be no opportunity for the funds to be mismanaged at the national level.
“Our people are at the local communities, wards and LGAs, that is where most of the funds will go to,’’ he explained.
He said that the NPHCDA would provide a stipend for transportation to the identified Community Health Influencers and Promoters and people who would provide services in the communities.
Shuaib explained that the stipend was to enable the CHIPs go from house to house and provide basic treatment to sick patients, and where necessary, refer cases to the nearest primary health care center.