Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has revealed plans to build at least 500 primary healthcare centres and revamp the state’s nursing school, beginning next month, April, to provide a conducive environment for the implementation of the compulsory health insurance scheme.
Obaseki disclosed this when he received members of the newly inaugurated Governing Board of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) at the Government House, in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The governor said the bill for setting up compulsory health insurance has reached advanced stage at the Edo State House of Assembly, stressing that the focus on primary healthcare by his administration is to ensure that basic healthcare needs are accessible and affordable by ordinary people.
According to the him, “Plans to improve primary healthcare services in the state is ongoing. The basic philosophy is to strengthen the primary healthcare system which will create room for adequate structures for obtaining data relating to healthcare and the required services.
“A pilot scheme will be rolled-out in April, when 20 primary healthcare centres will be refurbished in the 18 local government areas. Subsequently, 200 primary healthcare centres (PHCs) will be fitted with power and water supply. All these will be completed in the next 18 months. The target is to complete 500 primary healthcare centres by the end of my administration.”
Obaseki said the state government intends to provide specialised healthcare services at the Central Hospital in Benin City, noting that the nursing school in the state will get a facelift to provide manpower for hospitals in the state.
He said, “Arrangements for health insurance scheme in the state have reached advanced stage with the bill for a law to establish the scheme before the State House of Assembly. Hopefully, it will be passed into law soon.”
“The state government intends to roll out the compulsory health insurance scheme by the second quarter of 2018. With all these in place, we anticipate investors in the health sector will be attracted to the Benin Specialist Hospital to provide the needed healthcare services,” he added.
The governor assured that his administration intends to create a conducive environment to attract investors in the healthcare sector, which will reposition Edo State as a destination for medical tourism in the country.
He noted that the state government is seeking a partnership agreement with the UBTH for an improved health ecosystem, noting, “This administration is concerned about the healthcare system and will continue to work hard to ensure the health ecosystem is improved. This will enable the state government provide quality healthcare services to the people.”
Chairman, Governing Board, UBTH, Bashorun Adedoja Adewole, said the hospital was ready to collaborate with the state to improve access to quality healthcare services.
Adewole commended the governor for the effort to reposition the state’s healthcare sector, promising to provide support where necessary.