DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has challenged members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to be advocates for making operational, the Nigeria Health Act.

Governor Okowa made the call on Wednesday  at the opening ceremony of the Physicians’ Week organised by the Delta State Council of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in conjunction with the Delta State Contributory Health Commission (DSCHC) in Asaba.

According to Governor Okowa, “wherever we find the opportunity, we should continue to talk about the need to operationalise the health Act.”

“As a nation, have we done well? The answer is, no,” the governor said, adding, “the issue that concerns universal health coverage started in 2004; today, we are still struggling to achieve the 100 per cent mark; I am very worried because, for many years, the issue of health insurance was limited to only federal workers, states did not key into it due to low advocacy.”

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa (middle); Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye (left) and State Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Chairman, Dr. Omo Ekeneam, during the Delta State Physician’s Week 2018, held in Asaba. PIX; JIBUNOR SAMUEL.

He continued, “if the one per cent fund of the federal budget as enshrined in the 2014 national health act was released, in collaboration with the states, many of the less privileged and poor will have access to universal health care and I pray that the fund will be released so that we can have total health coverage in the country.”

The governor who commended NMA for having “Universal Health Coveraage, Leaving No One Behind,” urged other states of the federation to take a cue from Delta State and implement the national health Act as it will enable the country have full health coverage.

He assured that his administration will continue to improve on health services in the state.

President of NMA in the state, Dr Omo Ekeneam said, “the Physicians’ Week is an annual event of the NMA; it is a weeklong event which aims at drawing government attention to selected health issues that will impact positively on the health indices of the nation and the state.”

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