James Ogunnaike, ABEOKUTA
Ogun State government has commenced the registration of 20, 000 vulnerable individuals across the 20 local government areas of the state for free and qualitative healthcare services in government-owned facilities.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, disclosed this while monitoring the registration process under the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund at the Primary Health Center, Iperu in Ikenne Local Government.
Coker said the move was in line with the National Health Act of 2014 which established Basic Health Provision Fund for children below age five, pregnant women and people above 65 years old who cannot afford to pay for health services from their pockets.
She said the treatment for the first set of the vulnerable would begin almost immediately.
The Commissioner said that the basic package under the fund include antenatal care for the pregnant women as well as postnatal care up to six weeks, pointing out that overall treatment would be given to children up to the age of five while the vulnerable would have access to treatment for headache, common malaria, blood pressure, diabetes, tuberculosis and other basic medical conditions.
She said that any treatment that is not available at the nearest Primary Health Center would be referred to the General Hospital for further management.
The Commissioner also noted that the move would be followed by the official launch of Ogun State Health Insurance which would involve the contribution from both formal and informal sector.
“We are registering 1,000 persons per local government across the state while services would begin almost immediately in the next 60 days.
“The basic package under the Basic Health Provision Fund include antenatal care for pregnant women as well as postnatal care up to six weeks. We will give overall treatment to children up to the age of five while the vulnerable would have access to treatment for headache, common malaria, blood pressure, diabetes, tuberculosis and other basic medical conditions,” Coker said.
While appreciating the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for his commitment to the health sector, which the Commissioner said is on the front burner of the present administration, she disclosed that the governor has released the sum of N100million start-up grant for the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
She also commended the Federal Ministry of Health for the imprest from the one per cent consolidated revenue of the federation to drive the initiative.
The Executive Secretary, Ogun State Health Insurance Agency, Dr Afolabi Dosumu said his agency had selected one beneficiary per household across the wards of the State through a nationally approved social register for indigent people, saying the registration cards for each beneficiary would be processed using the Ogun State Health Insurance system software.
Dosumu said that after the BHCPF scheme had been fully launched, all the beneficiaries would begin to access basic healthcare without any financial stress, adding that the government’s ultimate goal is to achieve universal health coverage.
One of the enrollees, Mr Ganiu Salami said having access to affordable health care would be beneficial to him, saying resources he could have spent on healthcare would be used to feed his family.