Most National Health Act provisions inadequately implemented since inception ― Ehanire

2 months ago 29

The minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said since the National Health Act (NHAct) was signed into law, most of the provisions of the Act have not been implemented adequately. 

This is as he said only one of the key provisions of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) is being implemented to a large extent and this has been a critical game-changer in the country’s health system. 

Ehanire noted that if the several other provisions are fully operationalized and implemented effectively, it has the potential to significantly propel Nigeria’s health systems towards Universal Health Coverage(UHC). 

According to Ehanire: “In the past few months, several health bills have emanated from the National Assembly intended to drive UHC, either as an amendment of the NHAct 2014 or independent of the act. 

“In preparing our response to such health bills and participating in the public hearings as key stakeholders, we have come to realized that a lot of the concerns in those proposed bills are addressed in the NHAct 2014”.

Ehanire also explained that it was on that basis that the ministry has renewed its zeal and commitment towards ensuring full implementation of the provision of the NHAct. 

 “It is also important to note that in developing the act it took a long consultative process that involved all arms of government, civil society groups, donors, development partners and other relevant stakeholders”. 

The Minister stressed that the efforts towards the full operationalisation of the Act was all-inclusive, noting that this also informed his decision to constitute the ministerial committee and the technical working group to comprise both government and non-government stakeholders to make for greater engagement. 

Ehanire added that this would also ensure that FMOH has a formidable team as they work towards ensuring that the NHAct achieves the objectives for which it was intended in the health sector. 

He said that the President approved the setting up of the Health Sector Reform Committee headed by the Vice President to commence the development and implementation of the health sector reform programme for the country.

“I am convinced that the work of these committees and technical working group and the health sector reform committee group will be synergistic towards building the resilient health system of our dream”.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Ministerial Oversight committee, of FMOH, Dr Chris Isokpunwu, said that about 500,000 Nigerians have been enrolled to receive a Basic minimum package of health services across the country.

Isokpunwu also disclosed that all 36 states of the federation and the FCT have received their disbursement from the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), as of Sept. 2020.  

“Many states also still enrolling lives. So in fact, on a daily basis, more and more people are been enrolled into the scheme across the country. 

“All the other aspects, remember that the three major objectives of the BHCPF is to ensure the provision of BMPHS, which I just explained, strengthen the PHC systems, which 5,701  PHCs have been made functional to provide care across the country. 

“These centres have also started delivering quality services, and I will call on the press to follow up and confirm that. 

“We are already finalizing processes for further disbursement to states, and  before the end of the year, such disbursement will get to the states to ensure that services continue.” 

He further disclosed that the emergency medical treatment would soon be launched, which would guarantee emergency medical treatment for all Nigerians without payment at the point of care. 

Speaking on behalf of the agencies, Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that all the agencies were very keen to work with the minister, and the directors to really start the implementation of the Act and the various dimensions of the Act. 

Ihekweazu noted that the development of the act had started over 20 years ago. 

“And as we walked in different roles in different capacities to push against embeddings, I think today will be really phenomenal that we get this process started. To really drive the change that is so much needed in our health sector to move it forward. 

“So I thank the minister for making this possible. And on behalf of all the other heads of agencies commit that we will work with you on all aspects of this to bring it to reality.”

Read Entire Article