BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja
The Federal Government has indicated interest to redesign the Basic Health Care Provision Fund as the foundation to achieve equitable allocation of resources to the poorest and most disadvantaged Nigerians.
In addition, the Federal Government would mobilise additional financial resources from development partners, both multilateral, bilateral, philanthropic and private sector to align with the sector-wide approach.
The fund comprises at least one percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund as encapsulated by the National Health Act (2014).
Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Ali Pate stated this on Tuesday at the Presidential unveiling of Nigeria’s Health Sector Renewal compact between the Federal Government, 36 State Governors and Development Partners in Abuja.
The event also coincided with the World Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day with the theme: “Health for All: Time for Action”.
Pate commended President Bola Tinubu for his incredible and visionary leadership that placed the health and social well-being of Nigerians as a key part of his administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
He promised that all Nigerians would access improved quality health services devoid of financial hardship, adding that good health is core to harnessing Nigeria’s greatest asset and human capital.
The minister said that the increased allocation of Federal Government’s budget to health and social sectors in the proposed 2024 apprcpriation, demonstrated the President’s political will to address the financial gaps that had limited Nigeria from achieving an efficient, equitable and quality health system.
Pate noted that the ministry’s strategic blueprint on ‘to save lives, reduce both physical and financial pain and produce health for all Nigerians’, is anchored around Nigeria’s progress towards UHC.
The minister disclosed that improving population health outcomes required access to affordable and quality health services for all Nigerians, in addition to effective governance, coordination and collaboration between Federal Government, States development partners and civil society organisations
He stated that the Health Sector Renewal is a bold effort and historic window of opporfunity that exposed the need to reform and implement the National Health System as contained in the National Health Act.
The minister added: “The sector-wide compact is based on our collective recognition that health is one of the keys to human capital accumulation; and a healthy, economically productive population, growing at a sustainable pace, supported by a health system that caters for all, is essential to Nigeria’s socio-economic development.
“The challenges to achieving our national health objectives include constrained governance systems and structures with limited accountability; inadequate, inefficient, and inequitable health care financing, shortage, and mal distribution of human resources for health.
“Also, limited availability of quality health commodities, insufficient citizens’ and community engagement, and hyper fragmented and poorly coordinated external development assistance.”
Pate informed that signing the compact indicated that the ministry aligned its objectives with the priorities articulated in the Renewed Hope Health Sector Blueprint’s pillars to improve governance, accountabillty to citizens, and focus on reversing high maternal, newborn, and child diseases and deaths
This, he said is in addition to unlocking the health care value chain through state-directed medical industrialisation in partnership with the private sector, and enhancing Nigeria’s resilience and health security.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa reaffirmed its commitment towards ensuring quality, accessible and resilient healthcare for all Nigerians.
He described the signing of the Health Renewal Compact as a testament of their dedication to transformative reforms in the health sector.
“With the support of our esteemed dignitaries and the solidarity of our international partners, we stand poised to turn commitments into action and translating aspirations into tangible improvements in healthcare delivery,” he said.
The compact seeks to bring together Federal, and sub-national as well as development partners both bilateral and multilateral to ensure that investments translated into the desired transformation in the health sector.
BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja