Nigeria considers revamping country’s healthcare scheme

Courtesy: The Thompson Reuters Foundation

People wait outside a hospital in Lagos, Nigeria March 13, 2019 [Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters]
Nigeria will soon begin the implementing new guidelines that will require all states register for the basic healthcare provision fund.

Minister of Health Isaac Adewole told the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday that the implementation will be sooner than expected when he appeared to speak on the plight of teaching hospitals across the country.

The basic health care provision fund is coming into place after its approval by the National Assembly in 2018.

It is one percent of the Federal Government’s consolidated revenue and contributions from grants created to fund the basic health needs of Nigerians.

The guideline for this fund, developed by the ministry of health, will reduce dependency on tertiary healthcare centers, the official said.

The scheme is structured in a way to ensure that only 10 percent of Nigerians visit tertiary health institutions which will only be expected to receive referrals and manage complicated cases.

The health minister explained that the fund is structured in a way that money will flow from Central Bank of Nigeria to the primary healthcare facilities, bypassing all obstacles.

“And last week, we succeeded in moving out funds from the Central Bank to the agencies and from the agencies, it will go to the primary healthcare,” he said.

The scheme, he added, will allow for free ante-natal care, free delivery, malaria treatment, screening for tuberculosis, hypertension, and diabetes.

So far, 22 out of the 36 states in Nigeria have subscribed to the scheme, with more coming on board.