About 45,000 people in the 323 wards in Bauchi State are to benefit from the allocation of support for healthcare services in the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) gateway services.
The Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir stated this in Liman Katagum when he flagged off the disbursement of funds to the Primary Health Centre.
He said that his administration will continue to accord priority to effective and qualitative health care delivery services across the state.
Bala said those to be enrolled in the scheme are children under the age of five, the aged in the various communities, pregnant and nursing mothers, students and other vulnerable individuals within the communities.
Represented by his Deputy Governor Baba Tela, the Governor lamented that accessing healthcare services especially by the average people has become a problem, stressing that some even sell or mortgage their properties in order to access quality healthcare services.
He said that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak has further compounded the health issues as it brought every aspect of life to a standstill thereby reducing access to healthcare delivery services across the country including Bauchi State.
Bala said that the allocation to the state came nine months after its approval, and it must be utilised, assuring that the allocation will be disbursed according to the guidelines by the NPHCDA.
Executive Secretary of National Primary Healthcare Department Agency (NPHCDA), Professor Mohammed Nasiru Sambo, said that the federal administration is committed to improving healthcare delivery services across the country, a development he said led to the several health policies adopted by the administration.
He said that the NHIS is to be well funded by the federal government to enable it to disburse money to all the states to enable them to properly fund the various health care service schemes.
The Executive Secretary said that Bauchi State has already received over N500 million from the federal government to enable it to fund its health care insurance scheme which he said is part of the scheme being flagged off.
He said that the NHIS has been repositioned for effective service delivery, and assured that the NHIS will not stop supporting and collaborating with Bauchi State until every targeted person is reached with the health insurance scheme.
The State Commissioner of Health, Dr Aliyu Mohammed Maigoro said that the most effective way of health services financing is support by the government through the health insurance scheme which has been introduced by the government.
Maigoro lamented the non-approval of the budget recommended for the Health sector by the federal government and identified a lack of commitment on the side of implementors of the programme which has led to the failure of the scheme across the country, calling for proper monitoring to ensure that this time around it did not fail.
The Commissioner assured that funds have been made available for disbursement to all the beneficiaries across the state urging the two agencies involved in the exercise to ensure that it was done as designed.
Executive Chairman of Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, said that the sum of over N400 million has been received by his agency for disbursement which will go directly to the 323 facilities across the state, adding that accounts have been opened for the facilities.
He said that from the assessment made so far, the sum of over N300 million has been earmarked for disbursement to all the facilities that are ready and that only two facilities were unavailable for now.
The Executive Chairman of BASPHCDA also said that personnel for the scheme have been trained to effectively man the facilities and ensure that the scheme succeeds while assuring that there will be monitoring of the programme by the agency.
All the facilities enrolled for the scheme are to get monthly allocations to function with a stern warning that any facility found wanting in the scheme will be dealt with.