Okowa advocates national health insurance scheme

The Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has said only a national health insurance scheme for all citizens can guarantee the attainment of the goal of Universal Health Care in Nigeria as contemplated by the National Health Act 2014.

Okowa said in the absence of such a scheme, the dream of increased economic growth and prosperity for all Nigerian citizens would remain elusive.

He noted that the right to health superseded all other rights, saying “providing affordable, quality and accessible healthcare should be a foremost cardinal policy and programme of any government because nation building efforts or national developmental aspirations cannot succeed or be sustained unless adequate attention is paid to the population’s health status.”

The governor made this submission in a keynote address he delivered during the 10th Annual All Fellows Congress and Scientific Conference of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria.

Okowa, who spoke on the topic ‘National Health Act: Translating the law into quality and accessible healthcare,’ called for what he described as “a strategic healthcare service reorientation.”

He emphasised the need to evolve a legal framework that would further enhance the attainment of the Universal Health Care in Nigeria.

“The National Health Act 2014 provides, for the first time, an all-encompassing legal framework for delivery of affordable and quality healthcare in Nigeria.

“In synergy with an efficient health financing system, the ensured quality health service becomes affordable and accessible with the citizens of the nation becoming the ultimate beneficiaries.

“What I feel we need now is a clear national strategy that defines the comprehensive vision of a health care system that creates value for both the patient and the health care provider and the processes required to achieve it.

“The central focus of a healthcare delivery process should be centered on continuously increasing value for the patient with value defined as ‘Health Outcomes Achieved per Naira Spent’,” Okowa added.

The governor also disclosed that he had forwarded an executive bill named “Delta State Contributory Health Commission” to the Delta State House of Assembly, which he said, when passed into law, would enhance health care system in the state.

Source: Punch