BENIN CITY: Edo State Governor Mr. Godwin Obaseki has inaugurated an implementation Committee for the establishment of Edo State Health Insurance Scheme (EDHIS) that will build a world class scheme that would be the envy and the pride of not only Edo people or Nigeria but that of the African Continent as a whole.
The inaugurated Committee has its members drawn from a wide spectrum of the society and it’s to be headed by a Professor of Medicine and World Health Organization (WHO) consultant Prof. Danesi Mustapha.
Obaseki said the inauguration of this committee is another key plank in the reform of the health sector in the state. He said one of the critical elements for his administration is to ensure universal coverage for the scheme.
The governor said his administration is determined to create a healthcare industry that will be the envy of all in the country saying the principle focus for his government is to get healthcare to the mass of the citizens of the state.
“As an administration, we are determined to establish our own health Insurance scheme because of its benefits. We hope that the health mechanism we will put in place will address the healthcare challenges of our people. They must be encouraged to invest more in the system as it will have effect of raising the standard of healthcare in the state”.
He added that since his administration came into office, some health reforms have been taken following a workshop held in the state and chaired by the Honorable Minister for health, state Dr. Osagie Ehanire as it has helped the state articulate the future of the health sector.
“We realize it’s not a cheap venture as we try to move away from the past where we unrealistically expect the government to fund every aspect of healthcare industry. Government will spend the bulk of its healthcare budget in strengthening the primary healthcare system in the state”.
He called on the committee to put in place a health insurance scheme which should be compulsory and affordable. “This will enable us pull resources together from both the formal and informal sector to complement that of the government and the private sector to fund provision of healthcare in the state on sustainable basis”.
“The initial phase of implementation of the scheme will commence with both the informal and formal sector. The plan should address the health need of everybody. The challenge for your committee is to have a viable scheme from day one”.
The first task for the committee according to the governor is to examine the Edo State Contributory health insurance document that will mid-wife the Edo State insurance scheme; the body is expected to serve as the regulatory and advisory body to implement and ensure effective administration of the proposed state health insurance scheme; advocacy to stakeholders; administrative and financial implication of the scheme and the source of human and material requirement for the scheme.
Responding the chairman of the committee Prof. Danesi Mustapha thanked the governor for the opportunity given to them to serve as promise that the committee would put in their best to ensure that the government is not disappointed.