As the Edo State government intensifies work on the reform of the health sector, the governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has reiterated that the soon-to-be-unveiled state health insurance scheme and construction of 500 primary healthcare centers (PHCs) across the state will guarantee accessible and affordable healthcare.
The governor said there is a nexus between the health insurance scheme and the PHCs as the symbiotic relationship will ensure health needs are met with minimal cost and effort, across the different parts of the state.
He stressed that the revamp of the healthcare sector is on course and that government will ensure that relevant institutions and policies are put in place to drive the reforms and sustain gains to be recorded.
According to him, “we are undertaking a holistic revamp of the health sector to ensure that the people are best served and that they do not have to spend so much to get quality healthcare. All of these reforms are interconnected and we are doing this because we have a big plan; we won’t do things in tokens. Every aspect of the health sector is covered. So, much as our focus is on primary healthcare, we are not oblivious of the need for tertiary and specialist care. So, all of these are captured in the reforms we are pursuing.”
The governor said that the focus on primary healthcare is responsible for the construction of the 500 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) across the state, noting that the state government intends to work with the Federal Ministry of Health through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) in addressing challenges facing primary health care system in the state.
“The 500 PHCs will cater to the health care need of those in rural areas, contribute to strengthening the state’s healthcare sector and engender speedy response to health emergencies.
He added that the primary health insurance scheme, the legislation for which has reached advanced stage at the Edo State House of Assembly, will bring succor to our people.
“It is a scheme that will be open to all Edo people, as against being just for civil servants. This scheme will ensure that people access health care with minimal cost and even when they get to the health centers, they would be assured of quality health care,” he said.
The super health centres, according to him, are to be sited in the three senatorial districts of the state and will serve as reference centres for the General Hospitals across the state.
He added, “The three super general hospitals will serve as a rallying hub for tertiary healthcare needs of the people, and will be properly equipped to serve this purpose. Our super hospitals will attend to complex health cases which Nigerians and Africans travel to other continents to treat.
“Medical tourism is a very big business in some Asian countries and most of their patients are Nigerians. More worrisome is the fact that some of the hospitals abroad are not as good as they make us believe. We will change this trend by providing world class health care facilities in Edo State and partner with experts to run them.”