Health

Admin., bureaucratic framework delay implementation of N327m Emergency Ambulance, Medical Services Fund – Perm. Sec.

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Mr Abdulaziz Mashi, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, says

administrative and bureaucratic framework are delaying the implementation of the N327 million Emergency Ambulance,

Medical Services Fund.

Nigeria News Agency recalls that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have decried the non-implementation of

ambulance services on highways, five months after N327 million is disbursed to Federal Ministry of Health for such service.

In reaction, Mashi told newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja that the ministry was still working with an emergency management

committee team to block possible leakages and to get it right before proper take-off.

The permanent secretary, therefore, appealed to Nigerians for more patience; adding that “I know we will be there’’.

In a separate interview with , Dr Aminu Magashi, the Coordinator, Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) said

Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR), together with Referral and Trauma Services were part of Emergency Medical Treatment (EMT).

He added that EMT was part of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) provided by the National Health Act 2014.

He explained that the operation manual for the BHCPF indicates that EMT carries 2.5 per cent of the total funding for (BHCPF) annually.

Magashi said that the programme had been domiciled with the Department of Hospital Services of the Federal Ministry of Health.

The coordinator said that the EMT got N327 million from the May disbursement of the BHCPF, adding that “the money is to be used as start up for the ambulance

service.”

He, therefore, urged the new leadership of the ministry to commence implementation, noting that “the money is available, the operational manual

is available, since the discussion on the matter has commenced, we need to see ambulances on the six identified highways.

“We also need to see the ambulances responding to patients and referring them to nearby identified facilities.”

Magashi recalled that over N13 billion, representing 25 per cent of the Basic Health Provision Fund, was released in May 2019.

He explained that “the fund goes to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA),

and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Federal Ministry of Health.

“Fifty per cent of the money went to NHIS for health insurance at state level; 45 per cent went to NPHCDA to ensure that PHCs were working, while

2.5 per cent of the money went to NCDC to address disease outbreaks and emergency preparedness, and 2.5 per cent went to

Federal Ministry of Health for emergency medical treatment.”

He said that an additional 25 per cent of the fund was already credited to the CBN account of Federal Ministry of Health but had

yet to be released to the benefitting agencies.

BHCPF represents one per cent of Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue and contributions from donor grants set aside to

fund the basic health needs of Nigerians.

It is the fundamental funding provision under the National Health Act, appropriated for the first time in the 2018 budget since the Act was signed in 2014.

The Federal Government earmarked N55.1 billion for the CRF to the basket fund of the BHCPF, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

contributed two billion dollars, out of which, 1.5 million dollars had been released.

Federal Ministry of Health inaugurated an Emergency Medical Treatment (EMT) committee and National Emergency Medical Services

and Ambulance Scheme (NEMSAS) on Feb. 5, chaired by the then Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, now the Minister of Health.

AM/ZGA/HA

Edited by Zainab Garba/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

 

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