By Victor Ogunje
The Ekiti State Government at the weekend disclosed that it would set aside N270 million to provide free health services for some citizens under the State Health Insurance Scheme (SHIS).
Under the scheme, the state government disclosed that no fewer than 20,000 individuals, including pregnant women, children, poor and aged persons would benefit.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oyebanji Filani disclosed the plan at the palace of Ogoga of Ikere, Oba Adejimi Adu during a session on the plan of the administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi to improve healthcare delivery in the state.
At the session, the commissioner explained that the programme was meant to ensure improved healthcare delivery, elongated life expectancy, free healthcare services and prevention of untimely deaths among the citizens.
He said the insurance programme “will cover pregnant women, poor people, children below age five, old people and the indigent. It is a partnership between the federal and state governments. It is going to be first come, first serve policy.
“A sum of N270 million has been earmarked for the scheme that will benefit an aggregate of 20,000 persons. Let all our people that are qualified make themselves available when the time comes. Every treatment for the beneficiaries will be free.
“A sum of N15, 000 is budgeted for each beneficiary, but will not be given to them in cash. But for them to be qualified for registration, they must get their National Identity Cards and National Identification Numbers (NIN)”.
Filani appealed to Ekiti people to take the issue of COVID-19 with seriousness, saying a total of 96 infected persons are currently receiving treatments at the three isolation centres.
“This disease is real and killing everyday. Very soon, we will have a vaccine for COVID-19. It is like a fluid and it is not being injected to monitor us as being rumoured.
“Tell our people to get inoculated when the vaccine is out. We are starting with elderly and health personnel who are the most vulnerable,” the commissioner explained.
He said the government of Ekiti State has begun aggressive rehabilitation of primary healthcare facilities across 177 wards, saying the government would renovate seven facilities in Ikere Local Government alone.
He said: “We are not going to rehabilitate them alone, we will provide equipment like Blood Pressure Machine, test kits for sugar level , PCV test kits , T-scan, delivery beds, Ultrasound and X-ray Machines to be able to dispense services to the people .
“In October 2020, Ekiti Hospitals’ Management Board employed 10 doctors. The Primary Healthcare Development Agency employed nine. We are also recruiting nurses and pharmacists. More NYSC doctors and nurses will be posted to Ekiti. The governor has done all the arrangements.
“We are looking up to our traditional rulers, religious leaders and other community leaders to monitor the facilities. It is important that we get feedback from you about how people patronise the facilities, efficiency of the personnel and what you are lacking in these facilities.”
The monarch promised that the community would continue to partner the government to ensure that facilities are protected and live up to their biddings of dispensing quality healthcare to residents.