Buhari directs probe of Basic Health Care Provision Fund spending

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Federal Ministry of Health to track the utilization of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

The president gave the order during the week at a two-day ministerial retreat in Abuja through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

The directive appears to be the president’s reaction to over a dozen reports The ICIR has been publishing on the fund’s management across the country in the past weeks.

Section 11 of the National Health Act (2014) provides for the fund, which is one per cent of the nation’s consolidated revenue fund.

The BHCPF is part of the Federal government’s initiatives to boost healthcare services through primary healthcare revitalization, equipping, and staffing across the country for improved services as part of measures to achieve universal health coverage.

It supports the vulnerable, children, and maternal care, among others.

Though the government signed the National Act Bill into law in 2014, it did not implement the BHCPF in the law until 2018.

State governments benefiting from the fund are to pay a counterpart fund of about 20 per cent of what the Federal government releases to them from the fund.

The ICIR has been running a series of reports on the fund’s utilization across the country, including the Midwifery Service Scheme, another initiative of the Federal government targeted  at further boosting services at the PHCs, especially in reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality.

The reports expose the corruption that characterizes the fund’s management by the state governments, the dilapidated state of PHCs, and other challenges militating against the effective utilization of the fund.

The nearly 20 reports that have been published so far are available here. 

FG’s budgets for BHCPF since 2018

In 2018, the Federal government approved N55.1 billion for the BHCPF. The allocation was reduced to N51.2 billion in 2019 and further shrank to N26.4 billion in 2020.

In 2021, the budget jumped to N35 billion and N44.5 billion in 2022.

The BHCPF got N47.6 billion in the 2023 budget proposal submitted by President Buhari earlier this month. 






     

     

    Additional information on the BHCPF

    According to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the fund is a catalyst for improving the country’s access to primary health care.

    “The BHCPF serves to fund a Basic Minimum Package of Health Services (BMPHS), increase the fiscal space for health, strengthen the national health system, particularly at primary health care (PHC) level by making provision for routine daily operation cost of PHCs, and ensure access to health care for all, particularly the poor, thus contributing to overall national productivity.”

    The BHCPF is derived from one per cent of the consolidated revenue fund, grants by international donor partners, and funds from any other source, including the private sector. 

     

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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