By Asma’u Ahmad
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, on Friday said only states with established and valid approved State Health Insurance Scheme would benefit from the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
Adewole made the assertion while addressing newsmen at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ebute Meta in Lagos, shortly after his visit of facilities in the hospital.
He said plans were underway to ensure that states have insurance schemes, adding that some states were already implementing health insurance as contributing schemes.
“We are working with states and many of the states are implementing State Health Insurance as contributing schemes and that will feed into the national scheme.
“So, hopefully in the next couple of months, all states should have insurance scheme. “In fact, no state can benefit from the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund without a validly approved state health insurance scheme.
“Half of the N55.1 billion will be channelled through the NHIS so that we can pay for services; so people do not have to pay, in case of delivery that will be covered by the NHIS component of the scheme.
“For us, it is not State, Federal or Local Governments, but we just want it to work because that is what the people want,“ the minister said.
According to him, the implementation of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund with N55.1 billion set aside in the 2018 Appropriation Act, all our Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) will have a new lease of life.
“We expect Nigerians to go there and access basic healthcare free of charge. “What we have done so far is to put life into the primary healthcare system and that is what led us to the agenda to revitalise 10,000 PHCs. “So far, we have done with our partners over 4,000 of the PHCs and we will still do more, “ Adewole said.
The minister, however, commended the resourcefulness of the FMC management to put in place measures to provide quality healthcare services to the public.
Newsmen report that the minister visited some of the renovated facilities in the hospital, including, the Clinical Service Centre, Paediatric Wards, Dialysis Centre, Surgical Wards and toilet facility for the patients.
In his remarks, the FMC Medical Director, Dr Adedamola Dada, said that there was a major challenge of space as regards the expansion of the hospital.
“The renovation has increased the patients load to about 50 per cent; so the facilities we have now cannot actually meet the demand. “So, there is a distortion between demand and supply, but we are planning ahead to put in place more facilities so that we don’t turn any patient back,“ he said.