Oyo: Pregnant women, children under 5 to get free health care services.

PREGNANT women and children under five in Oyo State are being given a new lease of life through a free health programme under the newly launched health insurance scheme by the Ajimobi – led administration.

The state governor, Abiola Ajimobi Thursday in Ibadan, made this declaration during the flagged off of the State Health Insurance Scheme, just as he restated his administration’s commitment to improve health care service delivery of the people.

The scheme was also lauded by stakeholders in the health industry in their goodwill messages.

The insurance scheme, the Governor assured, will benefit the poor as the registration has been pegged at N200 only and a monthly premium fee of N650. It will be free for children under age 5 and pregnant women.

“This health insurance scheme is one among the various health initiatives we offer our people to give them accessible and affordable quality health care. The free health, where several people are being treated, is presently going on across the state.

“We have improved safety and security across the state and we want our people to support our agriculture initiatives for food security. We are committed to making life meaningful to our people and everything humanly possible to achieve this will be done,” said Ajimobi.

The governor, however appealed to the people not to deviate in their support for his administration and consequently urged them to get involved in the state Health Insurance Agency.

In their separate goodwill messages, the Chief Medical Director of University College Hospital UCH), Professor Tope Alonge, the Managing Director/CEO Ultimate Health Management Services, Mr. Lekan Ewenla and the Managing Director of Alafia Hospital, Mr. Babatunde Agbaje commended the state government for the initiative, saying that the scheme would give the citizenry access to quality health care.

Professor Alonge promised that UCH would partner with the state government to improve its health sector, appealing that the people should take advantage of this first of its kind health insurance scheme by a state government by being beneficiaries of affordable health care.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan noted that there is no where in the world that health is totally free, explaining that health care is subsidized through health insurance scheme.

The Acting Executive Secretary of Oyo State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Sola Akande remarked that the health insurance scheme is backed by an enabling law for formal and informal sectors, adding that attempts by previous administrations to institutionalise the health insurance in the state suffered “Abortion at different stages of gestation”.

According to him, the scheme will cater for those who need the services, and even those who cannot pay and promote a standard plan with a benefit package that covers over 90 per cent of disease pattern communities while the remaining 10 percent will come with top up packages for interested residents.

He added that the scheme will provide immediate employment for 627 health workers while local government health facilities will have more than one medical officer rendering services to the people.

Akande stressed that some other residents of the state can be gainfully employed at biometric centres and vouchers’ sales points.

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