By Shola Akingboye – 7th August 2020
The Emergency National Council on Health (NCH) Meeting hold on Thursday, 6th August, 2020, was organized to consider Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) Guideline developed by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and others like the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS) presented by the Honourable Minister of Health through the Director, Trauma, Emergency and Disaster Response, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).
This was made available to the media by the Director, Information, Media & Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi. According to the draft agenda made available by the Planning, Research and Development Department of Federal Ministry of Health, the Emergency National Council on Health virtual meeting will consider the followings: Memo on Approval of the Draft BHCPF Guideline presented by the Executive Director/CEO, NPHCDA.
The Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) Guideline for the Administration, Disbursement and Monitoring of the BHCPF was developed by the NPHCDA in collaboration with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and National Emergency Medical Treatment Committee (NEMTC) in June, 2020.
National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS) presented by the HMH through the Director, Trauma, Emergency and Disaster Response, FMOH.
The DG, NCDC is expected to update the NCH on COVID-19 Response and Guideline for Setting up COVID-19 Sample Collection Sites in the States
The Executive Sectary of NHIS is also expected to brief the NCH on NHIS Financing for States.
The Director, Family Health in FMOH is expected to also brief SOML P4R Project.
The NCH is expected to come out with a Communiqué at the end of the Emergency National Council on Health.
It may be useful to recall that the National Council on Health (NCH) is the highest advisory body on health care and health issues in Nigeria. Membership of NCH is composed of the Honourable Ministers of Health and the Commissioners of Health in the States of the Federation as well as the Secretary for Health and Human Services in Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Of the BHCPF Guidelines which is at the heart of one of the memo to be considered by the Emergency NCH of 6th of August, 2020, the Foreword as given by Dr. OsagieEhanire, the Honourable Minister of Health to the BHCPF document, describes the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) as enshrined in the National health Act 2014, as an irrevocable testament of Nigeria’s commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage.
“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 percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, financial grants from local and international donors, partners, the private sector and philanthropic individuals. It is envisaged that the prudent application of the fund would positively reverse our National health indices and place Nigeria firmly on the path to Universal Health Coverage.”
The HMH said, to achieve this given objective of the BHCPF “in an efficient accountable and transparent manner that also ensures value for money, this Guideline for Implementation of the BHCPF (year 2020), has been developed following a revision of the 2018 Operations Manual.” He said: “This rapid transition was prompted by the need to address fundamental issues around the mechanisms for fund administration and some implementation processes in the preceding document that conflicted with the NationalHealth Act amongst other concerns.”
This revised Guideline is the outcome of extensiveconversations, consultation, and consensus between representative bodies of the Federaland State Governments, Legislators, Partners, CSOs and the Private sector. Its successfulimplementation would likewise be based on the unflinching commitment of all stakeholders,inclusive of the health providers and citizens themselves.
This Guideline will define and hold to account the actions of the core implementing entitiesi.e. the NPHCDA, the NHIS and the National Emergency Medical Treatment Committee. Itwould also guide the participation of all stakeholders contributing to or supporting theimplementation of the BHCPF; and serve as a reference for health providers, traininginstitutions, researchers, and the public.
Ultimately, the purpose of the Guideline is to afford health sector in Nigeria, an innovative andcatalytic framework for assuring Nigerians of access to health services on demand that is ofgood quality and at no cost to citizens at the point of care. I enjoin all to support Nigeria in thisquest based on the guide provided herein.
There are some illustrations in the BHCPF document which are meant to further enrich the understanding of the NCH members and other operators who may wish to appreciate the health funding arrangement more. There is the ‘Framework for Funds disbursement under the NHIS Gateway’; ‘Monitoring and Evaluation Flow’; ‘Institutional Structure for NPHCDA Gateway’; ‘Schematic for Emergency Medical Response for National and States’; ‘Governing structure of the BHCPF’; ‘Framework for partnership engagement and contribution for the BHCPF’; and the ‘Fund Management Flow Chart’.