Osun State was the cynosure of all eyes yesterday as the federal government’s major healthcare policy to favour women and the vulnerable was launched in Osogbo, the state capital.
The national roll-out of the implementation of enrolment of clients for the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) was launched by Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole and Osun State Governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola at the Primary Health Centre, Isale-Agbara, Osogbo.
Governor Oyetola reiterated his administration’s commitment to bring adequate, quality and qualitative healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the citizens.
He said his administration had been working round the clock to reposition the health sector by making health facilities accessible, affordable and sustainable for all.
Oyetola reiterated the determination of his government to commence implementation of Health Insurance Scheme this month to make healthcare equitable.
Besides, he added that work had started on the revitalisation of nine general hospitals and 332 primary healthcare centres across the state.
“Our administration is poised to bring quality healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the citizenry with this noble initiative.
“The all-embracing programme involves making available drugs and modern equipment, training and re-training of personnel and powering of activities at the health facilities by modern technology,” the governor said.
Prof. Adewole commended the administration of Governor Oyetola for keying into the national health policies and programmes of the federal government which earned the state the opportunity to host Friday’s kick off of the national programme with the funding support of the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other development partners
Adewole who described BHCPF as a signature programme of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which is otherwise called Buharicare, said Osun residents will benefit from services worth over N916 million in the next nine months.
According to the minister, the fund is equivalent to payment for the management of two hundred and seventy thousand (270,000) women with normal deliveries, seven hundred and sixty three thousand (763,000) under 5-childhood illnesses or five hundred and seventy two thousand (572,000) cases of malaria.
The minister added that N15million would be released every year to support the programme.
He said: “With this initiative, I am convinced that we will turn the tide on this as we have developed BHCPF based on four key elements which include, a dedicated funding mechanism that creates additional fiscal space for primary health care services.
“A focus on improving both supply and demand side functions of the system by providing facilities with operational budgets, to enable them improve the quality of care being delivered and also purchasing an explicit but guaranteed set of services including deliveries, childhood illnesses and screening of hypertension and diabetes in the elderly.
“Also, the provision of improved and stronger coordination between federal and state governments, with roles and responsibilities clearly defined as well as a robust governance and accountability structure underpinned by a data and performance management framework for continuous evaluation.
“I am positive that the initiative will help reverse the poor health indices in the country. I am also hopeful that death during childbirth would be a thing of the past; and our children would no longer have to die as a result of vaccine preventable diseases or other common ailments.
“Also, access to healthcare will not be limited because of not having money to pay as we have allocated resources per state based on the incidence of poverty and also on a per capita basis to ensure equity in the disbursement of funds.
“This guarantees that the BHCPF would help reduce inequality in use and access of services particularly by the most vulnerable.”
Apart from top government officials who attended the ceremony, the World Bank and international development partners gave goodwill messages with the assurance that funding would not stall the programme designed to take healthcare to the vulnerable and the weak.
Oyetola who urged the people to stop patronising traditional doctors and quacks, assured the audience that
“In line with extant requirements, we shall ensure effective implementation of all the components of the programme which include antenatal care, child delivery care (including caesarian section) and free immunisation for pregnant women.
“Also, free immunisation, treatment for malaria, measles, pneumonia, dysentery and malnutrition for children below five years as well as free family planning services, treatment for malaria, and screening for diabetes and hypertension for all adults shall be taken to cognisance,” Oyetola said.
The governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari for being supportive to the state in her effort to promote quality healthcare delivery.
“My administration’s all-inclusive health sector focus since assumption of office less than six months ago, is an indication that we are your dependable ally in this noble resolve to ensure that our people are healthy.
“The Government and People of The State of Osun are grateful to the federal government for its commitment to adequate and equitable healthcare delivery to the nation,” he assured.
The first set of women were enrolled by the Governor, the minister, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Wole Oyebamiji and Chairman House of Assembly Committee of Health Hon. Leke Ogunsola.