BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said that healthcare reforms in the state, including the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme (Edo-HIP) and the Health Insurance Scheme, will ensure that residents in the state are better positioned to for universal health coverage.
The governor said this, in commemoration of the International Universal Health Coverage Day, marked every December 12, by the United Nations, and its various health-focused organs. The day was first marked on 12 December 2012, after the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution calling on countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC).
According to the governor, “As we mark the International Health Coverage Day, it is important to state that, as a government, we have made tremendous progress in restoring our primary healthcare system. This is so that it can be responsive to the needs of today, and serve as the first port of call to anyone with health needs in the rural areas and villages.”
Noting that the Edo-HIP is an elaborate plan to reform the primary healthcare system to meet the needs of Edo residents, he said, “The primary healthcare reform not only ensures access – as a number of them are sited in rural areas, they are also affordable and fitted with relevant supplies. To ensure that there is constant power supply, the renovated healthcare centers are fitted with solar energy, to forestall the incidence of power cut.”
The governor added that the state government will be unveiling her health insurance scheme next year to also provide a pool of funds to drive healthcare service delivery in the state.
He said, “We have provided for the health insurance scheme in the 2019 proposed budget. This will ensure that a structure for funding the healthcare system is put in place. It will ensure that those who subscribe to the scheme have access to affordable healthcare services. This is in addition to a number of other healthcare initiatives such as the building of a neonatal healthcare center at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) project in the state.”
According to the United Nations, “the International Universal Health Coverage Day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with stakeholder.
“Each year on 12 December, UHC advocates raise their voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, champion what we have achieved so far, call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, and encourage diverse groups to make commitments to help move the world closer to UHC by 2030,” the UN said.