The Edo State Government has said achieving universal health coverage is a non-negotiable goal and a major priority in strengthening the healthcare system in the state.
The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, said this while addressing journalists, at the weekend, in Benin City, to commemorate her one year tenure as commissioner.
Akoria said that the Primary healthcare gateway and the Health Insurance gateway had been fully activated to achieve universal health coverage.
She said: “Achieving universal health coverage is a non-negotiable goal for us in Edo state. Paying out-of-pocket for every healthcare encounter is a concern to us.
“So, we have a health insurance commission working to improve and increase enrolment from not just the formal but also the informal sector.
“Primary healthcare in Edo is no longer restricted or focusing only on immunisation, health talk, and ante-natal care.
“We are driving a revolution by rebranding and resourcing our primary healthcare system, as well as training our workforce to compete favourably.
“The focus of the Governor Godwin Obaseki’s administration is to strengthen the services at the PHCs and reset our mentality that ‘quality service is not meant for only tertiary centers’,” she said.
The Commissioner further noted that the telemedicine programme which offers health services virtually through the use of video conferencing would be expanded to accommodate Edo-central and Edo-North in the coming year.
“By the first quarter of next year, we will have activated another health facility in another senatorial zone to serve the less privileged.
“We focus on underserved people, people who cannot pay for themselves, and those living with Co-morbidities, Hypertension, Diabetes, Osteoarthritis, and Chronic Obstructive airway disease,” she said.
She said that the ministry carried out regular oversight to regulate, check and monitor the activities of health facilities in the state.