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Less than 1 percent of enrollees benefitting from healthcare fund, Edo Health Commissioner decries

…urges residents to take advantage of funding to reduce out-of-pocket spending

The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria has urged residents who have been enrolled into the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) to take advantage of the funding provision for indigent persons in the state to access quality healthcare services.

The Commissioner decried that fewer than 50 enrollees of the healthcare fund had benefited from the services since it became active in the state in 2021.

Prof. Akoria, who spoke to journalists in Benin City explained that two of the three BHCPF gateways to which the Federal Government commits up to one percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, alongside counterpart funding from Edo State Government, are currently functional in the State.

She added, “These are the Edo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (EDSPHCDA) and the Edo Health Insurance (EDHIC) gateways, respectively.”

Charging eligible residents in Edo State to take advantage of this unique funding which is aimed at ensuring the provision of quality basic health care services and reducing out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare, Prof. Akoria said, “In the last couple of months, we have done extremely well in increasing enrolment into the BHCPF.”

She continued, “Initially, the focus was in Edo South Senatorial District for manageability, but in the last three months, the Edo State Health Insurance Commission has extended enrolment to residents in Edo Central and Edo North senatorial zones. From just over 2000 enrollees, we had 29,211 enrollees State-wide as at June 30, 2021.

“We have taken the pains to reach thousands of enrollees by calling them directly and we found that majority of enrollees who ought to be benefitting from the healthcare funding are not.

“Currently, 142 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the State have received capitation to provide free healthcare services to the poor and other vulnerable residents.”

Prof Akoria further stated, “We have also constituted the State Oversight Committee which is working closely with the EDSPHCDA and EDHIC to ensure that the funding is efficiently and effectively utilized.

“We are committed to improving access to quality healthcare services in the entire state, including dwellers in rural communities and indigent persons, and urge all eligible residents to take advantage of the BHCPF to access free, basic, quality healthcare.”

The Commissioner for Health noted that the Heads of Local Government Administration and PHC staff of Esan South East, Igueben and Owan East LGAs had been outstanding in the implementation of the BHCPF. In Uteh PHC (Ikpoba-Okha LGA) which topped the charts in performance - Nurse Thelma Kokobili has been marked for special recognition.