…launches health insurance scheme for informal sector
Ogun State Government says it has paid up a total sum of N200 million grant to the Basic Health Care Provision Fund as part of its resolve to take advantage of the health scheme in the state.
The state Governor, Dapo Abiodun disclosed this at the launch of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund and commencement of the Informal Sector Health Insurance Scheme at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, on Thursday.
He noted that the formal take-off of the health insurance scheme was another step towards capturing the all-important sector in the social health safety.
“While our administration will continue to ensure that affordable and sustainable health care delivery system is provided in Ogun State, it is also imperative that we make it easily accessible to all our people. It is for this reason that we are gathered here today to launch the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) as an effective gateway to the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the formal take-off of Informal Sector Health Insurance Scheme towards improving the wellbeing, wellness and welfare of the people of Ogun State.
“The BHCPF is a social health intervention fund that is targeted at providing basic health care services to the vulnerable crop of people – such as pregnant women and children under-5, as well as the indigent people in the society. Let me assure that with the formal launch of BHCPF, the basic health care services will be provided to these categories of people that have been registered by the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency at no cost”, the governor stated.
He, however, explained that basic health care services without exposure to financial hardships by the vulnerable in the society necessitated the informal sector health insurance scheme.
He expressed hope that the scheme would serve as a cushion against any financial burden as occasioned by high out-of-pocket expenses on health care services.
While appreciating the Federal Government’s social intervention programmes aimed at improving the wellbeing of the people, Abiodun noted that the launching of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) and the Informal Sector Health Insurance Scheme, would further deepen the positive impacts of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in Ogun.
He added that his administration would continue to collaborate with the FG across all sectors,improve on the policy formulation and programme implementation to sustain the Public-Private Partnership strategy, adding that “the relevant agencies in the health sector would continue to provide necessary skills and equipment for more efficient and effective service delivery”.
Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Olakunle Oluomo while appreciating the present administration for the initiative, said the House would pass a Bill to criminalise diversion of the scheme’s fund.
He advised the agencies of the scheme to allow their representatives to liaise with members of the public to sell the scheme, encouraging political office holders to embrace the scheme by paying for some of their constituents.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Nasir Sambo, disclosed that the federal government had disbursed over N28.7bn to states and the Federal Capital Territory to fulfill the requirements of accessing the funds.
Sambo, while noting that the National Health Insurance Scheme provides support to state agencies in terms of technical and operational issues especially in the areas of training, technology and programme development to facilitate attainment of the universal coverage by the year 2030, said the federal government was also developing a contemporary and comprehensive information technology through the ongoing ENHIS project.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker said the poor and the vulnerable in the society (such as pregnant women, children under-5, elderly above 65 years of age and the disabled) were the primary targets of the Fund and Insurance Scheme, adding that to ensure the dividends percolate to the grassroots, ” the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency has accredited 236 primary health care facilities using the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) guidelines; funds have been disbursed into the State Treasury Single Account (TSA) at the Central Bank of Nigeri
She added that a total of number of 26,440 beneficiaries have been enrolled onto the programme across the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Ogun State.
Speaking on behalf of traditional rulers, Chairman, Ogun State Traditional Council of Obas and the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, expressed happiness with the new development in the health sector, calling on the people to embrace the scheme in order to access quality health care services.