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NMA Moves to Stop N55bn Health Fund Diversion

AdvertisementThe 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.

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.”

Source: Medical World Nigeria

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