The Osun State Government has disclosed that no fewer than 69,273 vulnerable persons have been receiving healthcare services in the last two years under the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) after the Osun Health Insurance Agency successfully enrolled the beneficiaries.
The government explained that the the current administration had particularly engineered the Osun Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS) with a view to making all citizens have access to better healthcare.
Speaking yesterday when he flagged off mass distribution of insurance scheme cards to over 69,000 beneficiaries, the state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, said that the move was part of efforts to improve access to quality healthcare in Osun.
According to him, the initiative is aimed at eliminating the palpable gap between the rich and the poor in accessing quality and qualitative healthcare service delivery.
During his remarks at the flag off ceremony, held at Ede High School, Ede, Oyetola said that the ceremony marked a watershed in the administration’s quest to ensure that no one was left behind in accessing qualitative healthcare.
To demonstrate this commitment, Oyetola noted that a sum of N150 million was released as take-off grant for the agency and over N477million as equity grant meant for the premium for the poor, the needy and the vulnerable within the first year in office.
He said that his government had equally established the OHIS Drug Distribution Centre which was now supplying medicines and consumables to 16 OHIS-accredited government secondary health facilities across the state to put an end to the perennial out-of-stock syndrome of medicines in government secondary healthcare facilities for health insurance enrollees.
According to him, with about 300,000 residents already enlisted on the State Social Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS) and 195,565 successfully enrolled and accessing care under the Scheme, OHIS is up and running well, and the government is proud of it as one of the leading State Health Insurance Agencies in the country.
“To further strengthen the Scheme, we have consistently paid the government’s share of public servants’ health insurance premium which is 3% of workers basic salary and paid the equity grant meant for the provision of treatment and care for the vulnerable/less privileged people in the State free of charge, making us the second in the entire Federation to do so.
“It is indeed heartwarming to note that in recognition of the achievements of the Agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) selected OHIS for piloting the Integration of Tuberculosis (TB) with State Social Health Insurance Schemes (SSHIS) in Nigeria in collaboration with their consultants at Equitable Health Access Initiative (EHAI).
“The programmes have just been completed and the enrolled patients are already receiving treatment for TB across the State, as part of the OHIS Equity Programme for vulnerable persons.
“Also, in recognition of our sterling performance in the health sector, I have been selected for decoration as Ambassador for Better Health at the Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Summit being organised by the UHC 2023 Forum in collaboration with Chatham House, London and will hold at the Yar’Adua International Conference Centre, Abuja, come 16th December 2021,” Oyetola added.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the scheme’s Governing Board, Hon. Andrew Adelakun, lauded Oyetola’s commitment to the scheme, noting that the initiative has been sustained by the tenacity of the Governor.
According to Adelakun, Oyetola has never failed to remit the 3 per cent government’s contribution, including the 1.5 per cent of staff monthly deduction to the Agency in the last three years of his Administration.
“This has greatly helped to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure on health of residents of the State, most especially the public servants, the vulnerable and the poorest of the poor.
“The government of our dear State is aware that not everybody is able to pay and inability to pay should not be a hindrance to accessing quality healthcare. Our Governor sees access to healthcare as a matter of human rights which should not be denied to any resident. This is why even the vulnerable population has been given serious consideration”, Adelakun said.