By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Plateau State government has established the State Contributory Health Care Management Agency, PLASCHEMA to cater for the health needs of its citizens and achieve universal health coverage in the State.
The Agency is among other things mandated to regulate the cost of healthcare and ensure adequate distribution of healthcare facilities across the 17 located government areas of the State.
To achieve the mandate, the Director-General of the Agency, Dr Fabong Jemchang organized a five-day workshop for critical stakeholders who would work directly to develop a blueprint and operational guidelines as well as harness private sector participation in the scheme.
Speaking at the event, Jemchang stressed that his agency, having been mandated to “regulate, supervise and implement State Social Health Insurance Scheme to provide universal health coverage for every resident of the State” would work to “ensure financial protection form individuals and families from huge medical bills and ensure equal distribution of health cost across different income groups.”
He noted that out of pockets expenditure on health has threatened many citizens hence “the Agency is poised to strengthen health financing by pooling resources and through strategic purchasing, mitigate high out of pocket expenditure and poor health insurance coverage for citizens.”
While maintaining the workshop is necessary to prepare those responsible for the attainment of universal health coverage with the required knowledge and skills, he tasked the stakeholders to give their best and enable the Agency function optimally and meet its deliverables and bring hope to the people.
The workshop brought together professionals in the health sector, members of the civil society organizations, trade unions, the media, community and religious leaders among others to sensitize them on the need to embrace the scheme and ensure members of their communities key into it for effective healthcare delivery.