The Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC) has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to use at least N500 billion from the petrol subsidy palliative fund in providing health insurance coverage for at least 30 million vulnerable Nigerians in the next 12 months.
HSRC Coordinator, Chika Offor, made the call Thursday in Abuja during a news briefing by the coalition.
She said the coalition was concerned with the slow progress made by Nigeria towards the realisation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) due to the sub-optimal implementation of the extant relevant laws, policies and guidelines as well as inadequate political and gross underfunding of the health sector.
She said poor coverage in health insurance has persisted in Nigeria, adding that as of June 2023, less than 18 million Nigerians, or 8.5% of the population had been enrolled into any of the health insurance schemes.
She said only about 12 of the 36 state governments and the FCT were paying their counterpart funding for BHCPF and that enrolment into the fund covers about 5% or less of the population in each state.
The coalition called on the National Assembly to revise the National Health Act (2014) to move the BHCPF funding from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) to Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and increase it to 2%.
Members of the HSRC include the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), World Health Organisation (WHO), Save the Children (SCI), Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Vaccine Network for Disease Control (VNDC), Legislative Advocacy Initiative for Sustainable Development (LISDEL).