Delta State Has the best Health Indices For Achieving Universal Health Coverage in the Country
..Dr. Michael Nwoko
By Frank Iroroh
The Senior Special Assistant to Delta State Governor on Health Monitoring, Dr. Michael Nwoko has disclosed that Delta State has the best indices for achieving the Universal Health Coverage Policy in the Country.
Dr. Nwoko made the disclosure in a joint Press briefing with Dr. Patrick Onwuachi at the General Hospital Owa Alero, shortly after monitoring some health facilities in Ika South and Ika North East Local Government Areas of Delta State.
The joint monitoring team to the area includes the two SSAs to the Governor on health monitoring, Dr. Michael Nwoko and Dr. Patrick Onwuachi and their team, The Permanent Secretary, Delta State Ministry of Health, Dr. Mrs. M. Oseji accompanied by some Officials of the Ministry.
Central Hospital Agbor, was the first point of call by the high powered monitoring team.
The team on arrival met the Zonal Medical Director, Dr. Philemon Okolie and other senior management staff of the Centre.
While welcoming the team to the centre, the ZMD, Dr. P. Okolie, stated that at the time the team arrived the center, they were on a workshop to educate junior staff on some vital aspect of their duty as Health care practitioners.
The ZMD and top management staff conducted the monitoring team on a tour to the various departments and units of the center.
The PS of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mrs M. Oseji, advised the Zonal Medical Director and top management staff of the center to evolve ways of reaching out to the stakeholders in community, through the Local Government Council Chairman and the elected representatives with a view of enlightening the people on the operations of the Centre and engender a cordial relationship between the the facility, their clients and the host community.
Dr. Patrick Onwuachi on his part, advised public healthcare providers to apply their passion for the profession in dealing with clients by showing love and care for the condition of clients, he reminded them of the prevailing harsh economic situation in the country and gave instances where parents had to watch their children die due to lack of means to take care of their medical bills, he emphasised that any parent under such condition will be hostile to health providers handling their case.
He pointed out the issues of legal cases on Doctors and Health facilities which bothers on neglect and mishandling of clients and therefore the need for health care professionals to follow ethical principles while attending to their clients.
Dr. Onwuachi thereafter advised health care professionals to pay priority attention to their primary duty rather than their private practice.
Dr. Michael Nwoko, whilst appreciating the Staff for their efforts, encouraged them to do more in rendering service to their clients as His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Governor is determined towards ensuring that all the health care facilities across the State performs optimally in order to guarantee Universal Healthcare coverage for all residents of Delta State. He informed the management of the Centre that one of the major reasons the office of the SSA was created was to bridge the gap between healthcare providers and clients, especially enrollees of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme. He maintained that Health Insurance removes the pressure of out of pocket medical expenses on clients, which in turn eliminates financial strains on clients thereby removing the barrier of affordability and accessibility to health care as being previously experienced.
He emphasised that the office of the SSA to the Governor on Health Monitoring has developed a checklist which all facilities visited are expected to complete and submit to the office for the purpose of proper evaluation, data collation, analysis, interpretation and reporting.
In conclusion, the SSA described health insurance as the watershed of global healthcare delivery service and maintained that there’s need for health care facilities to sensitize their out of pocket clients on the need to enroll in the scheme and enjoy the benefits package adding that Health Insurance is one thing that can change the dynamics of health care all over the World.
The team went round the various departments, units and noted the challenges of the center and advised the ZMD to take appropriate actions to address the issues within his power while taking note of the major problems for further necessary action by the relevant authority.
At the male word, a mother who’s male child is on admission and covered by the Health Insurance Scheme expressed satisfaction at the level of care and attention her son is receiving from the Doctors and nurses at the Centre.
She described the Health Insurance as a huge relief and commended His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State for introducing the scheme in the State.
The team left for the General Hospital Owa Oyibu, where they met the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. Onyema Patrick, on arrival. The CMD conducted the team round the various departments and units of the Centre and commended the State Government for the face lift of the center and building of a standard Doctor’s quarters and incinerator chamber for the center. The team, whilst noting the challenge of the Center, thanked the CMD for his commitment to duty and charged him and his staff to show more commitment in order to ensure optimal performance of the facility.
Owa Alero General Hospital was the next point of call. The center was a beehive of activities when the team arrived.
The energetic Chief Medical Director welcomed the team and conducted them around the various departments and units. The patients load was overwhelming. The CMD, Dr. Mrs Ejiro H. Usamah, explained that the facility is working with limited space due to the ongoing renovation work involving the male ward, female ward, out patient department, open registry etc. She further hinted that the construction work is done in phases so that the entire facility will not be shut down.
The CMD further stated that the Contributory Health Insurance enrollees strength in the facility is over 1000 and still counting.
The contractor who was on site, on enquiry stated that work is going on as scheduled and assured that the first phase of the work which includes the Male and female wards, the out patient department, open registration and some other parts will be ready before December 2019.
Dr. Nwoko, whilst charging the contractor to expedite action on the job in order to decongest the wards, also commended the management of the hospital for the conducive environment and the cordial relationship existing between the facility, the enrollees and the host community.
From Owa Alero, the team returned to Asaba for a rendezvous of major health facilities in the State Capital, to assess the level of work done by contractors handling some projects at General Hospital, Okwe, Specialist Hospital, Asaba and the Lasa Fever Centre at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba.