Uzodimma flags-off vulnerable persons healthcare enrollment in Imo
By Buchi Iwuji, Owerri
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo state has flagged-off the enrollment of vulnerable persons in the state into the federal government’s Basic Healthcare Provision Fund Scheme.
The scheme, according to him, will offer a refreshing insurance that will allow the less privileged persons to have access to quality healthcare delivery irrespective of their status in the society.
Performing the flag-off ceremony at the Owerri Municipal Council Headquarters on Monday, Governor Uzodimma said effecting the enrollment of vulnerable persons in the Health Insurance Scheme is a laudable health innovation that centres on comprehensive healthcare of the vulnerable.
The governor remarked that the idea was yet “another visible signpost in his administration’s resolve for the provision of efficient and affordable health care services to Imo People which heralds a brand new chapter in the provision of health care delivery in Nigeria.”
According to him: “The beneficiaries of the Scheme are mostly those in the rural areas from the basic healthcare fund which will be accessible through the 305 healthcare centres in all the 305 INEC wards in the State. These centres will serve as a platform through which the vulnerable groups can have access to free healthcare services under the fund. Only those that have been enrolled in the scheme will have access to the fund.”
He assured the people that the fund for the healthcare scheme is already in place courtesy of the Federal Government provision and the Counterpart fund provided by the State Government.
Governor Uzodimma expressed his passion for the health of hapless in the society, noting that it is the responsibility of all to encourage them to enroll in the scheme. He however urged those mostly affected to come out en mass to enroll in the scheme, saying “this is one of the opportunities the people should not toil with.” He stressed that, “it is a free, quality health services.”
The governor also warned unscrupulous elements against tampering, stressing that “those found indulging in such act will be made to face the full weight of the law. Such people shall be deemed guilty of profiting from blood money and have deprived the vulnerable access to good health by stealing from their funds.”
Imo Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bartholomew Okorochukwu explained that the State Health Insurance Agency in collaboration with the State Primary Health Care Development Agency and the National Health Insurance Scheme was flagging-off the first phase of the State wide programme for eligible persons which include: pregnant women, children under five years, the elderly and people living with disabilities. He however pointed out that this first phase will not capture every eligible person at inception.
Okorochukwu also used the opportunity to call on wealthy and kind-hearted persons in Imo to take up the responsibilities to support the initiative by enrolling their indigent community members into the Scheme to complement the efforts of government at all levels.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary Imo State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. John Onyeokoro said that the basic healthcare provision fund was established in 2014 and seeks to remove financial barriers to accessing primary health care, particularly the poor and vulnerable as well as increase the overall financing to the health sector to assist Nigeria achieve universal health problems