Five years after the passage of the National Health Act (NHA 2014), Nigeria has formally launched the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (Huwe) – one of the key provisions of the law. The launch took place at a primary healthcare facility in Osogbo, the Osun state capital. Osun is one of four pilot states for the fund.
TheScoop has condensed the speech by the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole at the event into parts that matter.
Some context into the BHCPF: Adewole recalled that “…in 2014, Nigeria passed the National Health Act, which laid the foundation for our goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In 2016, we developed the National Health Policy and in 2018 approved the National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP II). Both documents encapsulate our commitment to achieving UHC and the role of Primary Health Care as the bedrock of the health system.”
On why it matters: “70% of total health expenditure in Nigeria is borne out of pocket. This is far higher than the globally acceptable rate of 30-40% and remains a barrier to accessing care.”
Here is how the fund works in four parts
- “Firstly, a dedicated funding mechanism that creates additional fiscal space for primary health care services. An inter-fiscal transfer of resources from the Huwe Account at the CBN, through federal and state agencies account, will be made directly to facilities to enable them deliver care adequately.
- “Secondly, a focus on improving both supply and demand side functions of the system by providing facilities with operational budgets, to enable them improve the quality of care being delivered and also purchasing an explicit but guaranteed set of services including deliveries, childhood illnesses and screening of hypertension and diabetes in the elderly. This services will be purchased from both public and private facilities.
- “Thirdly, improved and stronger coordination between Federal and State governments, with roles and responsibilities clearly defined.
- “Fourthly, a robust governance and accountability structure underpinned by a data and performance management framework for continuous evaluation.”
On how the funds would be disbursed: “To ensure equity in the disbursement of funds, we have allocated resources per State based on the incidence of poverty and also on a per capita basis. This guarantees that the BHCPF will help reduce inequality in use and access of services particularly by the most vulnerable.”
Expected impact: “I am also hopeful that death during childbirth will be a thing of the past; and our children will no longer have to die as a result of vaccine preventable diseases or other common ailments. Also, access to health care will not be limited because of not having money to pay.
By the numbers: “Osun will benefit from services worth N916m over the next 9 months.
- “This amount is equivalent to payment for the management of:
- “Two hundred and seventy thousand (270,000) women with normal deliveries
- “Seven hundred and sixty three thousand (763,000) under 5-childhood illnesses
- “Five hundred and seventy two thousand (572,000) cases of malaria.
- “Three hundred and thirty two (332) public sector facilities will become truly functional as a result of the program.
External funding support: “Global Facility Financing of the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)…committed 20 Million USD and 2 Million USD respectively to the Programme in the early phase.”
Go deeper: What you should know about the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund