Nigeria inaugurates healthcare provision committee

GLORIA ESSIEN

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The Federal Government has inaugurated a National Steering Committee on Basic Health Care Provision Fund.

Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said that the rationale behind inauguration of the steering committee was to advocate for more resources and to ensure smooth operation of the Basic Health Healthcare Provision Fund.

The Minister who is also the Chairman of the Committee informed that three states had been selected (Niger, Abia and Osun ) to serve as the first set of states for commencement of the implementation of the Programme scheduled to begin by the second quarter of 2018.

Baseline survey of the facilities to be used in each selected states has also commenced, Adewole added.

He further stated that Global Financing Facility through World Bank and Bill and Melinda Foundation provided initial resources to implement section 11 of National Health Act 204 on provision of the basic minimum package of healthcare services for all Nigerians.

Terms of reference for the committee, according to the Hon. Minister includes: Promoting true collaboration in the development and implementation of basic healthcare provision fund and being fully transparent in its decision making;

Review updates on funds flow, performance management and verification of result provided by the secretariat;

Monitor progress against approved plans and guidelines and appointment of external auditors;

The committee also is expected to advocate and ensure provision of required resources for planning and delivery of the Programme, among others.

Also speaking during the event, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said that implementation of basic healthcare provision fund is one of the strategies for achieving Universal Health Coverage.

He appreciated the Donor partners for their contributions to the Nigeria health sector. He added that despite the challenges in the health sector, Nigeria is working toward provision of quality healthcare to all.

Responding on behalf of the Donor partners, Representative, Global Financing Facility, Mr. Paulim Basinga said that $2million have been committed for the basic healthcare provision fund.

He also assured the Hon. Minister of more support from the donor agencies.

Commissioner of Health, Niger State, Dr. Mustapha Jibril, while speaking on behalf of benefitting states, thanked the development partners and Federal Ministry of Health for selecting them as pilot states.

He said “there is no doubt that basic healthcare provision fund would improve the health indices of the selected states”