Finance critical to efficient implementation of health services ― FG

The Federal Government has said healthcare financing, being one of the pillars of the health system, is critical to ensuring a smooth implementation of efficient and effective health service.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire in his address at the Nigeria healthcare financing end of the project event in Abuja pointed out that it is also important that, while government try to mobilize money for health, it also focuses on getting more health for money.

Ehanire who was represented by the Technical Assistant, Dr Chris Isokpunwu, explained that one of the interventions of this project was assisting the budget cycle, the budget plan of the Federal Ministry of Health, resulting in the development of annual operational plans, upon which most of the budget of the Ministry in the past few years had been dependent.

“It has made budgeting more efficient and all-inclusive. The most significant of the project is on the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).”

Also, the Director General of the National Health Insurance Authority(NHIA), Prof. Mohammed Sambo noted the relationship between the NHIA. Results for Development (R4D) and other partners, with the support of the BMGF, have culminated in several successes since the implementation of strategic reforms anchored on three-point rebranding agenda – Value re- orientation; Transparency and Accountability; and Accelerating the Drive to Universal Health Coverage.

He further said the relationship has culminated, among others, in the development of the NHIA Ten-year Strategic Plan, which serves as a blueprint for the actualization of the mission and vision of the NHIA.

“It has also facilitated the strengthening of institutional capacity for monitoring and evaluation, as well as financial management systems, especially in respect of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), providing credible evidence for planning, implementation and decision making.”

Meanwhile, the Country Director of Research for Development(R4D) Dr Hope Uweja, said the project has brought out new ways to fund access to healthcare for the poor and the vulnerable.

He said: “We actually leverage in national health act that made provision the take-off of Basic Health Care Provision Fund which is a new source of funding that enables the federal government to be able to give a minimum healthcare package to the poor and vulnerable particularly children under 5 and the pregnant women.

“This project has enabled the BHCPF to be well managed and operated to the extent that you can now determine the number of beneficiaries from that project and also to look at how value could be gotten in terms of the result for money,” he added.




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