James Sowole in Akure
The Ondo State Government had in the last four years accessed $37million out of the $50million World Bank loan for the funding of health projects under the Nigeria State Heath Investment Project (NSHIP)
The Special Adviser to the state governor on Health, Dr Jibayo Adeyeye, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting in Akure, the state capital, to deliberate on how to sustain benefits of NSHIP facilities which began in 2014 to end in 2020.
Adeyeye said the money, which was disbursed on Performance Based Funding (PBF) policy, had benefitted 532 health facilities in the state.
The Special Adviser, who expressed optimism that the state would be able to access the balance of the loan, said they cannot pull out of the arrangement.
He said since the project had impacted positively on health care facilities and delivery in the state, there was need to do all that are necessary to sustain the project beyond 2020 when the World Bank pulls out.
Adeyeye said: “The loan has been spent judiciously renovating the health centres and doing many other things. But the reality is that there must be a way to ensure that we continually have the resources to do what that loan was doing for us.”
He said Contributory Health Insurance (CHI) is a major way by which the state can sustain the benefits of NSHIP project and other health programmes.
To actualise the takeoff of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme, Adeyeye said the state had established Health Insurance Commission through an Act of the state House of Assembly which had been signed by the governor.
“The analogy is that as at today, the state health budget is around N4billion in one year and it translates to about N1.00 per capital. But if we institute health insurance scheme where half of the citizens pay N1000.00 a month, that will give us about N2 billion in one month; that is N24billion in one year which would translate to about N100 billion in the health sector in four years.
“We borrowed N14billion from World Bank. If half of the population key into the scheme, we will pay back the loan in one year and our health system will be sustainable,” he said.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Mr. Francis Akanbiemu, said there was need for stakeholders in the health sector to do all that are necessary to ensure that the benefits achieved through the World Bank NSHIP programmes are sustained and improved upon.
Akanbiemu said mandatory Contributory Health Scheme remains the only way through which Universal Health Coverage can be achieved.