The Edo State Governor Mr. Godwin Obaseki has inaugurated a committee to design the framework for a world class health insurance scheme (Edo Health Insurance Scheme) that will be the pride of Edo people and the African continent.
The committee with members drawn from a wide spectrum of the society is headed by Professor Danesi Mustapha, a consultant for the World Health Organization.
Obaseki said the inauguration of the committee was crucial to the desired reform in the state health sector and added that one of the critical elements of his administration is to ensure universal coverage for the scheme.
The governor said his administration was determined to create a healthcare industry that would be the envy of all in the country with a clear focus on affordable and accessible healthcare for the mass of the citizens of the state.
“As an administration, we are determined to establish our own health insurance scheme because of its benefits. We hope that the health mechanism we will put in place will address the healthcare challenges of our people. They must be encouraged to invest more in the system as it will raise the standard of healthcare in the state,” Obaseki said.
He explained that since his administration came into office, several reforms have since commenced following a workshop held in the state and chaired by the Honorable Minister for Health, State, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, which has helped the state articulate the future of the health sector.
“We realized that it was not a cheap venture as we tried to move away from the past, where we unrealistically expected the government to fund every aspect of healthcare industry. Government will spend the bulk of its healthcare budget in strengthening the primary healthcare system in the state,” he assured and called on the committee to put in place a compulsory and affordable health insurance scheme.
“This will enable us pull resources together from both the formal and informal sectors to complement government and private sector resources to fund the scheme on a sustainable basis. The initial phase of implementation of the scheme will commence with both the informal and formal sector. The plan should address the health need of everybody. The challenge for your committee is to have a viable scheme from day one,” the governor told the committee.
The first task for the committee according to the governor is to examine the Edo State Contributory health insurance document that will mid-wife the Edo State Insurance Scheme.
Responding, the chairman of the committee Prof. Danesi Mustapha thanked the governor for the opportunity given to them to serve and promised that the committee would put in their best to deliver the assigned task to the best of their abilities.