Heralding A New Dawn In Ogun State Health System Through Health Insurance - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Thursday, February 24, 2022

Heralding A New Dawn In Ogun State Health System Through Health Insurance


             

The Daily Crucible | Thursday, February 24, 2022
 
By Femi Onasanya

Few weeks ago, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun formally launched the Basic Health Care Provision Fund ( BHCPF) programme and Ogun State Informal Sector Health Insurance Scheme in Abeokuta. The twin-initiatives ought to have seen the light of the day before now but for some bottlenecks from different ends. 

Given the belief of the present administration in Ogun State and the firmness of Governor Abiodun to ensure that the health system of Ogun State is attractive to all, the two schemes with their attendant benefits have finally seen the light of the day. It is on record that the Abiodun led government has given a priority to the health sector since it came on board in May 2019. The government proactive measures in the sector has so far enabled it to fight Covid-19 head-on till date, despite the fact that Ogun recorded the index case of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

In less than three years, many things have changed in the health sector of Ogun State across the three tier of the health system. The government has given and continue to give a new lease of life to selected  primary health centers in all its 20 local government areas by renovating, equipping and staffing them accordingly in line with 21st century standard. 

The State Hospitals in Abeokuta, Ota, and Ijebu-Ode and General Hospitals located in Ijebu-Ife, Idi-Iroko, Ifo ( which has newly been upgraded to State Hospital), among others have never had it so good until the Dapo Abiodun Government assumed office. 

It is no longer news that in less than one week that Prince Abiodun came on board, he visited the Olabisi Onabanjo University( OOUTH) , Sagamu and declared a state of emergency on the health sector when he saw the deplorable state of things in the facility which used to be the pride of the state and the first state-owned teaching hospital in the country. 

By and large, the rest is history today as a drastic turn-around are very obvious across the three tiers of Ogun Health System given the affordability, effective and accessible services being rendered by the motivated health personnel whose salaries are now at par with their Federal Government counterparts as a result of the creative and magnanimous approach of the State's helmsman, Prince Dapo Abiodun.

In order to take the gospel of promoting the health system further through sustainable financing, the present administration put necessary round pegs in round holes to ensure the commencement of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in the state which would make the vulnerable (  adults of 65 years and above as well as children below age 5) access health service without paying from their pockets. 

Before now, the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency ( OGSHIA) which came into full blown operation under the present administration has registered and commenced treatment for over 33,0000 vulnerable people across the 20 Local Government Areas of the state following the payment of N100m matching grant and another N100m take-off fund for participation in the BHCPF by the State Government.

The agency which is situated in the newly refurbished and furnished Maria Sokenu Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, has the experienced public health practitioner, Dr. Afolabi Dosunmu as the Executive Secretary with his team of experts to manage the affairs of health insurance in the Gateway State.  

This scheme will afford the vulnerable and indigents to access free healthcare services for common illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, tuberculosis, sickle cell, antenatal care for pregnant women and postnatal care for up to six weeks with overall treatment for children below age 5. 

On the other hand, the informal sector health insurance scheme which comes with the payment of N1, 000 monthly for individual and N4,000 for a family of six to access care in any public and private health facility provide comprehensive package for enrollees without having to pay a dime outside the monthly stipend. 

Of a truth, the benefits of the health insurance which has kick-started with the informal sector cannot be overemphasised. These include management of simple infections, uncomplicated hypertension, uncomplicated diabetes, mild anaemia, simple arthristis, as well as family planning services to include provision of commodities for surgery and  maternal, neonatal and child services, male circumcision, among others at the primary care level. 

The scheme also provides care at the secondary level facilities and includes consultation with prescribed drugs from accredited secondary healthcare facility and treatments that can not be handled at the primary level such as treatment of cardiovascular conditions, renal diseases, management of diabetes and hypertension, complicated respiratory infections, severe anaemia, basic and comprehensive emergency obsteric care, surgery, dental care, ear, nose and throat care, treatment of ophthalmology issues, as well as post-traumatic rehabilitation and other issues that need physiotherapists attention.

Speaking at the formal launch, Prince Abiodun noted that the formal take-off of the health insurance scheme was another step towards capturing the all-important sector in the social health safety.

According to him, “While our administration will continue to ensure that affordable and sustainable health care delivery system is provided in Ogun State, it is also imperative that we make it easily accessible to all our people.

“It is for this reason that we are gathered here today to launch the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) as an effective gateway to the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the formal take-off of Informal Sector Health Insurance Scheme towards improving the wellbeing, wellness and welfare of the people of Ogun State," the Governor said.

Appreciating the Federal Government’s social intervention programmes aimed at improving the wellbeing of the people, Abiodun noted that the launch of BHCPF and the Informal Sector Health Insurance Scheme, would further deepen the positive impacts of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in Ogun.

In the words of the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency has accredited 236 primary health care facilities using the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) guidelines, while funds have been disbursed into the State Treasury Single Account (TSA) at the Central Bank of Nigeria, adding that a total of number of 33,440 beneficiaries have also been enrolled onto the programme across the 20 Local Government Areas of Ogun State as at January, 2022.

Speaking on behalf of traditional rulers, Chairman, Ogun State Traditional Council of Obas and the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, expressed delight with the new development in the health sector, calling on all and sundry to embrace the scheme in order to access quality health care services.

Femi Onasanya, the Press Officer attached to Ogun State Ministry of Health wrote via femibimboo@gmail.com ( 08036170135)

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