NMA Moves to Stop N55bn Health Fund Diversion

On 08/Oct/2019 / In Medical News

The Nigerian Medical Association has  moved to help the  Federal Government’s partnership  to ensure  judicious spending of the N55bn Basic Health Care Provision Fund being disbursed to states.
 
Fifteen states and the Federal Capital  Territory shared  N6.5bn meant for  the National Health Insurance Scheme last month. The money  was part of the N55bn earmarked by the FG for health care provision through the National Health Act 2014.
 
While the  NHIS will  receive 50 per cent of the fund, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency will get 45 per cent, with the remaining five per cent to be given to the Ministry of Health for emergency responses.
 
The total amount of money  released in September was N13.8bn, with  the  NHIS getting  N6.5bn  from  the money. Edo State got N301m  while  Kastina  State  got N636m. Kano State  emerged as  the biggest beneficiary with N948m.
Nigerian Medical Association
Other beneficiary states  were Yobe (N270m), Delta (N394m), Lagos (N672m), Adamawa (N342m), Anambra (N338m), Imo (N301m), Kaduna (N552m), Bauchi (N530m), Bayelsa (N116m), Ebonyi (N230m), Oyo (N449m), Plateau (N337m) and the FCT (N118m).
 
In an exclusive interview with our correspondent the President of the NMA, Dr Francis Faduyile, said the move by the association would ensure that states did not divert the  money  meant for the procurement of quality equipment for the primary health care centres in their states.
 
He alleged however that most of the states that benefitted from the scheme put political considerations forward ahead of sustainable heath insurance   scheme.
 
The NMA chief  said, “The  money is for Basic Health Care Provision for the people. It has been found out that not everybody will be able to enrol or pay for  the NHIS. What has been envisaged is that for those who may not be able to pay, the states needed some funding to support them so that they can have  adequate treatment as those who have the capacity to use the NHIS.
 
“The states need to make the primary health care centres functional by putting the necessary equipment in place. That is what the money is for. It is meant to strengthen the PHC and provide health cover for  those  that cannot pay so that they can get treatment when they need it.
 
“But the area that baffles NMA is that many of the states have  set up the health insurance scheme  on political interest.”
 
Faduyile  said they  had held discussions with the NPHCDA on how best to monitor states that got the money.
 
He said, “As an association, we have held discussions with the PHCDA that the NMA wishes to partner   them  so that we can have a technical committee since doctors and the  NMA cover the whole country so that we can organise ourselves into monitoring groups in all the states to ensure that the money is well spent. It will be very difficult for the FG to monitor all the states and councils from Abuja.”

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