By Adebisi Adeyemi Lagos, Nigeria
The Oyo State Government on Monday began the sensitization of public and civil servants in the state on the benefits and advantages of the newly introduced N650 monthly health insurance scheme, disclosing that pregnant women and children under the ages of five are exempted from paying the stipulated amount.
The sensitization which started with the engagement of senior civil servants led by the Head of Service and was followed by a meeting with the staff of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
Receiving the staff of Oyo State Health Insurance Scheme (OYHIS) and Six Health Maintenance Organisation (HMOs), the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun reiterated the government’s commitment to affordable, accessible and quality health care delivery, urging the people of the state to take advantage of the first health insurance scheme by a state government in the country.
Arulogun noted that the health insurance scheme is one among the various health initiatives the government offers the people, adding that the government will not relent in its efforts to ensure that the people of the state enjoy the dividends of democracy.
In his address, the Executive Secretary of OYHIS, Dr Sola Akande said that the Insurance Scheme is the future of the health sector which starts now in the State. He emphasized that the attendant reformation underscores the importance the state government places on the health sector and the well-being of the citizens of the state.
Dr. Akande pointed out that the scheme which will reduce mortality rate among residents of the state as well as give them access to basic health care delivery through easily affordable monetary commitment of N650 naira per month and N7800 per annum.
The Executive Secretary, who stressed that the scheme would outlive many administrations in the state, explained that the insurance scheme comes on three platforms which include Standard, Standard Plus and Standard Peak plans.
According to him, “the Standard plan is the least of the scheme and affordable, while every enrollee can pay for it in two installments. As much as possible, we want to ensure no one is left out in this bounty which is first of its kind by any state government in the country.”
Dr Akande, who allayed the fears of the general public that the service would be scrapped after the expiry of Sen. Abiola Ajimobi’s administration, said that the Scheme was duly established by the law and is made available to everyone in the State, noting that individuals have a crucial role to play in the scheme by joining hands with government to promote the health sector and prevent untimely death.
He however appealed to civil servants and the general public to believe in the scheme by buying into it as well as supporting it, stressing that the scheme will bring about a paradigm shift in the State health sector in earnest.