Gov. Okowa Determined To Achieving Universal Health Coverage Policy In Delta State — Dr. Michael Nwoko.
By Iroroh Frank
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor of Delta State on Health Monitoring, Dr. Michael Nwoko has disclosed that the present administration in Delta State under His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa is totally determined to achieving the Universal Health Coverage Policy in the State. The Universal Health Coverage Policy, Dr. Nwoko explained, entails the provision of quality, accessible and affordable healthcare service to the people.
The SSA made the disclosure recently while responding to questions from panel of senior editors of The Pointer Newspaper, during an interactive session with the editorial eggheads of the media outfit at the conference hall of the Delta State Printing and Publishing Company Limited, Asaba, (Publisher of The Pointer Newspaper).
In the words of the SSA, the adminstration of His Excellency, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa is poised to achieving the Universal Health Coverage Policy in Delta State, this entails the provision of quality, accessible and affordable healthcare service to all Deltans and that, in order to ensure standard in compliance with the Universal Health Coverage Policy, the State Government will shot down private hospitals and clinics who fail to regularise or validate their registration with the State Ministry of Health within the next 2 Months’.
Dr. Nwoko went ahead to enumerate measures taking by the Okowa’s administration to achieve the laudable goal in the State, ‘you will agree with me that His Excellency, has a great passion for the health of the people.
‘You are aware, that as a Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District from 2011 to 2015, he sponsored a bill for the National Health Care Act and National Health Insurance Commission.
Further, he said, ‘His Excellency, driven by his passion for the wellbeing of Deltans, waisted no time in domesticating the health insurance scheme in the State, as soon as he assumed office in 2015. This is because, His Excellency is very conscious of the fact that health insurance is the key to achieving the Universal Health coverage Policy all over the World.’ Dr. Nwoko stated.
The SSA, went on to outline other foundations laid in the State by the administration of Governor Okowa to meet the requirements of the Universal Health Coverage Policy, to include: the establishment of the State’s Contributory Health Commission, to effectively drive the Health Insurance Scheme, the restructuring of primary healthcare delivery service by bring different stakeholders responsible for primary healthcare delivery at the grassroot under one roof; This initiative, he said, collapsed all primary healthcare structures in the State under one roof, for efficient supervision to guarantee effective healthcare delivery service at that level.
Other measures taken by Governor Okowa in pursuance of attainment of the global healthcare coverage goal as outlined by the SSA are building of new hospitals, health centres with massive renovation of existing ones across the State, in addition to procurement of medical equipment and increase in manpower required to enhance the capacity of health facilities to perform optimally.
Dr. Nwoko also told the veteran editors, that Governor Okowa holds the opinion that cross fertilisation of ideas is the most appropriate means of tackling complex issues.
The SSA added, ‘as we speak, Delta State is hosting a high capacity building workshop on Health, the National Council of Health scheduled to hold in Asaba from 9th to 13th of September, 2019 where over 1,000 participants are expected to attend. ‘You will agree with me that with all these measures put in place in the health sector by His Excellency, it is expedient to have a means of gauging performance, hence His Excellency deemed it necessary to create the office of the SSA on Health Monitoring, to monitor, evaluate and appraise performance in order to enhance efficient and effective delivery of quality, accessible and affordable healthcare to Deltans. I appreciate His Excellency, for giving me the honor and privilege to serve in this capacity.’ He said.
Dr. Nwoko, went further to state, ‘so far about 600, 000 enrollees have been captured under the Contributory Health Scheme and this figure includes the equity plan, the informal and formal sectors.’
On the challenges faced by some enrollees of the Contributory Health Scheme, the SSA informed that his office is currently interphasing with Health Care providers, some of the enrollees as well as the Contributory Health Commission with a view to bridging the gap between the Health Care providers and the enrollees.
Dr. Michael Nwoko, thanked the management of the media house for giving him the opportunity to interact with top editors of the daily tabloid and their untiring efforts in publicising government activities, most especially in educating and sensitising Deltans on the benefits of government policies and programs. He concluded by charging the media to continue to enlighten Deltans on what they stand to gain by enrolling for the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.