Nigeria in need of major health reforms, BHCPF and technical assistance to states will fast track universal health coverage attainment – Dr. Betta Edu

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As the Hon. Minister Prof Isaac Adewole and Dr Shaibu of National primary health care Development Agency officially launch the technical support program for state and LGA, Dr Betta Edu who spoke at the launch called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately release the Basic health care Provision Fund as approved in the 2018 budget to fast track the country’s journey to Universal Health Coverage attainment.

It is no longer news that Cross River State is amongst the leading states in health hoping to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all citizens, particularly the very poor and vulnerable. To make this a reality for CRD and other, there is need for federal government to quickly release Basic Healthcare Provision Funds (BHCPF) which is an intervention fund aimed at expanding the scope of healthcare service delivery which does not replace health budget allocation in the states.

Speaking, the Minister for Health Prof Isaac Adewole said that the federal budgeted more money for Primary health care this time around as the need things to change. He said 65% of the federal Health budget is allocated to Primary Health care. This is so because if any primary health care system is not working, whatever you spend on tertiary and secondary will amount to nothing. He hopes that the Technical support will make PHC in state and LGA work

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency Dr F. Shaibu said the Technical support program is an innovative solution to building capacity of staff of NPHCDA and managenent team at states to support PHC reforms in theor states. He said after training Fellowships will be given to participants as the institute intends to partner with relevant learning institution. He note that his ultimate goal is to support states to make the primary health care system in Nigeria functional.

Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency,  Dr Betta Edu said Nigeria needs a revolution in the health sector we need a radical change, we must build systems that can give our people and even our president the confidence to depend on care offered in Nigeria when the need arises. “We can only do this when we put our money where our mouth is” FG should immediately release the Basic health care fund and ensure Nigerians are insured by strenghtening state Health insurance schemes, while working to build a more formidable primary health care system. If we can all commit to this, we would have set Nigeria on a fast track to achieving Universal Health Coverage”.

Dr Edu said the Basic Health Care Provision Fund and Technical assistance to states and LGA will shorten the journey to Universal Health Coverage and also boost PHC for the citizens of the state, especially the poor who ordinarily spend so much out of pocket.

According to her Technical Support Programme (TSP) on health is meant to strengthen the effective coordination of technical supports to states so as to ensure one health plan across the country as investing in the Primary Health Care is the right way to go to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

She noted that the initiative will also help to address the various challenges in the health sector ranging from cold chain maintenance, delivery of vaccines in the right quantity, to the right place and at the right time and shortage of human resources for health, just to mention a few.

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