Nigeria: National Assembly Takes Credits of Primary Health Care Revamp

Nigeria's Senate President Bukola Saraki Tuesday claimed an intervention by the National Assembly led to the success being recorded in the health sector.

"I think the game changer is the 469 members of this National Assembly who in 2018 single-handedly ensured the funding of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund," Saraki said during the plenary.

"If you go by the media reports, they called it padding, but it was the intervention that provided those funds that will make a difference in the Healthcare industry today," he added.

Saraki was reacting to the presentation of the minister of health, Isaac Adewole.

Isaac was invited by the Upper Chamber to brief them on the current state of facilities and health care service in the teaching hospitals.

Isaac noted that Nigeria needs to "invest in the Primary Health Care" because the 22 teaching hospitals and 17 specialist hospitals in the country depend on "functional primary and secondary health care centres".

"If these two levels of care are functional, about 90% of ailments will be taken care of," Isaac said.

The minister, however, commended the national assembly for approving the Basic Health Care Provision Fund. "It is a game changer", the minister said.

The BHCPF is the fundamental funding provided under the National Health Act but was only appropriated in 2018 for the first time since the Act was signed in 2014.

It provides for with not less than one percent of the Consolidated Revenue for health funding.

When passing the 2018 budget in May, the National Assembly earmarked N55 billion for the BHCPF, as stipulated by the Act.

The fund was rolled out in January 2019 as appropriated by the National Assembly in the 2018 budget.

The fund is expected to help revive the health sector, especially primary healthcare centres (PHCs) many of which have been abandoned across the country.

"22 of our states have registered for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund," Isaac said.

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