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Health News of Saturday, 18 December 2021

Source: punchng.com

22 states can’t access basic healthcare despite N14.9bn funding

File photo to illustrate the story File photo to illustrate the story

At least, 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory have yet to enrol their citizens in the basic healthcare package as of December 2021, despite the efforts of the Federal Government to implement the National Health Act which allows for universal health coverage through the National Health Insurance Scheme.

This is as the findings also revealed that the 15 states that have commenced enrolment have only enrolled 476,686 persons.

The World Bank’s 2018 report classifies about 89 million Nigerians as living below the poverty line.

A joint World Health Organisation and World Bank report also highlighted that over 500,000,000 individuals around the world might be pushed into poverty due to out-of-pocket spending on healthcare.

The National Health Act 2014, which was signed into law on October 31, 2014, provides a legal framework for the regulation, development and management of the nation’s health system.

It also sets standards for rendering health services in Nigeria.

In 2017, the Senate passed a resolution mandating its appropriation committee to make provision for the BHCPF as mandated by the act.

Saturday PUNCH reports that the act recommends that the BHCPF shall be financed from the Federal Government’s annual grant of not less than one per cent of its consolidated revenue fund, grants from international donor partners and funds from any other source.

It also recommends that 50 per cent of the fund shall be used for the provision of the basic minimum package of health services to citizens in eligible primary or secondary healthcare facilities through the National Health Insurance Scheme.

But data obtained from the NHIS on Thursday revealed that 22 states had yet to commence access to care for their citizens as of December 15, 2021, leaving the citizens with little or no access to healthcare.

While 15 states had commenced the packaged, it was revealed that only a meagre 476,686 citizens had begun accessing care.

The NHIS said the 15 states included Anambra, with a total of 28,628 citizens enrolled; Bauchi with 44,250, Ebonyi with 19,230; Gombe with 25,565; and Jigawa 46,204.

Others include Kaduna, 45,529; Kano, 51,054; Kebbi, 33,938; Kwara, 18,536; Nasarawa, 14,936; Niger, 39,725; Ondo 20, 533; Plateau, 28,091; Sokoto, 40,311 and Yobe with 22,439.

The states yet to commence access to care are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Taraba, Zamfara and the FCT.

But the Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof Mohammed Sambo, during the universal health coverage summit in Abuja on Thursday, said health insurance could not be implemented in an atmosphere of ignorance.

Sambo said, “Health insurance can not be implemented in an atmosphere of ignorance. Accountability is needed. We need to sit down and develop the necessary tools.

“So far, a total of N14,980,223,026 has been disbursed. Some of the challenges include non-release of BHCPF funds after the initial disbursement, low level of awareness, weak political and financial commitment from some states, poor supply-side readiness and lack of synergy with demand-side in some states, termination of World Bank funding support to legacy states, lack of commercial banks in some LGAs and insecurity.