By Martins Ifijeh
With the setting up of the Gombe State health insurance scheme, and the putting in place of the Contributory Healthcare Management Board Law, the state is now set to access the Basic Health Care Provisions Fund (BHCPF).
Stating this during the signing of the Contributory Health Care Management Bill recently, the Governor, Gombe State, Inuwa Yahaya said the bills would help to improve efficiency and effectiveness in health care service delivery, as well as ensure transparency, accountability and good governance in the state.
He said, “It was disheartening that Gombe was the only state in the country without a hospital management board. But with the signing of the Hospitals Services Management Board Bill into law, our hospitals will now operate more effectively and ordinary people will now have some reprieve in terms of basic health care service.
“Equally, with the Contributory Health Care Management Board Law in place, the state will now align with the National Health Policy and we shall access the BHCPF, which can be accessed only with this law in place.
“Many state governors have since replicated the National Health Insurance Scheme and they have been accessing the funds to improve the basic health care services in their respective states.
With this development, Gombe has now joined the league and there will be some succour for the people, especially the less privileged ones, who find it difficult to get support when needed.”
The governor commended the House of Assembly for the speedy consideration and passage of the three bills and promised to enforce compliance with the provisions of the laws.
The others bills signed by the Gombe State are Hospitals Services Management Board Bill, the Gombe State Council on Public Procurement Bill and the Public Procurement Bureau Bill.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has commended the state for the bold move and its role in the implementation of the Nigeria States Health Investment Programme (NSHIP).
The World Bank Task Team Leader, Dr Gyuri Fristche, who paid a courtesy visit to the governor, in company with the co-team leader for NSHIP in Nigeria, Fatima Mustapha, said the scheme would provide the necessary support to the state to enable it achieve its goal of improving the health care system.
The Project Coordinator of the NSHIP in Gombe, Mallam Aminu Abubakar, expressed joy on the team’s visit, its assessment and overall rating of the state, among other participating states.
“We want to appreciate the Inuwa Yahaya’s administration for prioritising the health sector and the Executive Secretary Dr. Abdulrahman Shuaibu, for the support and initiatives on community-based health services,” Abubakar said.
In his reaction, Yahaya, said, “We seek technical support and collaboration to scale up the programme in order to cover the remaining local government areas. We are committed to the revitalization of at least one primary health care per ward in every Local Government.
“The NSHIP is an initiative of the Federal Government in collaboration with the World Bank and its primary objective is to increase the delivery and the use of maternal and child health interventions, as well as to improve the quality of health facilities in selected states.”