Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, on Thursday flagged off the Oyo State Health Insurance Scheme,saying that it will benefit the poor as the registration has been pegged at N200 naira only and a monthly premium fee of N650 naira.
It will be free for pregnant women and children under age 5.
Speaking at the flag off, the governor said: “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”.
The governor 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, 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.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan said that there is nowhere 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 said that the health insurance scheme is backed by an enabling law for formal and informal sectors, saying 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 added that some other residents of the state can be gainfully employed at biometric centres and vouchers’ sales points.