The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government is committed to strengthening the health care system and implementing a sustainable healthcare financing mechanism in the state.
Obaseki, who spoke in Benin City during a parley with healthcare providers, said his administration has undertaken pragmatic reforms and programmes to ensure the attainment of Universal Health Coverage for Edo Residents.
The governor, represented by Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, Esq., disclosed that the state through the Edo State Health Insurance Commission has, since August 2019 when the commission was established, enrolled 35,129 persons into its Health Insurance Scheme.
According to him, “About 10,000 of the registered persons are those under the Equity plan which is funded by the State and Federal Government.”
He noted: “It is with immense pleasure that I stand here before the good people of Edo State to share with you all the vision of the Edo State Government to provide quality, accessible and affordable healthcare to all residents of our State, irrespective of financial status, academic qualification or background.
“Right from the inception of my administration, it has been a top priority for our government to make sure that access to healthcare by residents in the State is no longer exclusive to the wealthy and privileged. Indeed, health is a fundamental right and all Edo residents should have access to healthcare without having to worry about the financial burden.
“Edo State Health Insurance Commission was signed into law in 2019 to provide healthcare to all Edo residents through an all-inclusive contributory health insurance scheme (EDOHIS), that will enable a viable and sustainable financial pool from which all residents, as well as their dependents, can access care.”
The governor continued: “The Commission, after an extensive process, has accredited 30 (thirty) healthcare facilities both public and private hospitals and 146 (one hundred and forty-six) primary healthcare centers under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund to provide health care for the vulnerable in the State.
“With all this provision in place, it is now imperative that all relevant sectors, which include all MDAs who are drivers of Government policies, to collaborate and act as aggregators, individually and collectively to mobilize all the necessary inputs and actions, both in the State-owned and private sector so as to achieve the desired Universal Health Coverage.
“The fundamental goal of Universal Health Coverage as enumerated by the World Health Organization is to ensure quality healthcare delivery that is accessible to all, and Edo State represents an integral part of this notable vision at the forefront with all other global pointers and relevant sectors to ensure this is not just a pipe dream but a scheme that actually translates from policy statement to sustainable action and service delivery.
“We have the responsibility as a government to act collectively, as actors in this noble health insurance scheme, and to foster collaboration and co-operation in all administrative processes to drive and implement this health system, with the ripple effect of strengthening our socio-economic status.”
“We believe that with this commitment, hard work and diligence displayed individually and collectively by all well-meaning Edo people, our government will succeed in attaining Universal Health Coverage for Edo residents,” Obaseki reassured.