Buni Launches Free Healthcare Scheme for Poor  in Yobe

Michael Olugbode in Damaturu

Yobe State Governor, Hon. Mai Mala Buni has launched Free Healthcare Service Schemes for poor and vulnerable people in the State.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme in Damaturu, the governor said: “The new expanded and remodeled Free Healthcare Schemes which we are launching today, will greatly improve the accessibility of high-quality and effective healthcare services in the State, particularly to the poor and vulnerable people to achieve long-term universal health coverage and promote a healthy and productive society. This new scheme will sustain and improve the gains of the former Free drugs programme for the benefit of our citizens.

“The new Scheme is a complete package fused into a single framework comprising the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, the State Equity Programme, and the subsidized formal sector programme. It also includes Deferral and Exemptions and Free Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health {MNCH} programmes that are both operational at health facility levels. These are all aimed to improve access and provide qualitative and affordable healthcare services to our teeming people especially the poor, and the vulnerable.”

He added that: “I am also happy to once again launch and present to the public the YSCHMA Informal Sector Programme that will provide a prescribed package of healthcare services at uniform contributions of NGN12,000 per person per annum, accessible to all self-employed residents at the grassroots.”

He said: “Since the inception of our administration, we have sustained both financial and administrative commitment to the implementation of the former free Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health services (MNCH) programmes in the state.

This administration has introduced other laudable initiatives such as the establishment of Yobe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency {YOCHMA} and Yobe State Drug and

Medical Consumables Management Agency [YODMA] to primarily expand healthcare financing fiscal space and ensure sustainable supply and availability of high-quality, safe, affordable, and accessible drugs, reagents, and other medical consumables at all times, in all the health facilities across the state.”

He disclosed that: “Since the commencement of Contributory Healthcare Financing by this administration, the State Government has consistently sustained the employer statutory 3.25% contribution into the formal sector programme from June 2020 to date amounting to Two billion, six hundred and forty-two million, nine hundred- and forty-four-Naira eighty-four kobo (N2,642,670,944.84). This in addition to providing two hundred million Naira (N200,000,000.00) in the year 2021 for the state government equity programme that is currently being implemented under the State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency.”

Buni said: “Furthermore, with effect from last month, I approved the restoration of the monthly standing payment for the Free drugs program to Twenty million Naira (N20,000,000) and bulk purchase of drugs and medical consumables amounting to the sum of Forty million Naira to the State Ministry of Health (N40,000,000.00) to expand and remodel the existing Free MNCH programme in the state through direct procurement and distribution of high-quality drugs, medical consumables, and laboratory reagents to health facilities across the state.”

In this respect, let me call on our political leaders, individuals and

corporate bodies at all levels to personally through the state contributory agency pay and enroll their constituents into the Yobe State Government Informal sector programme through the payment of the required N12,000 premium contribution per person per annum to increase access to affordable healthcare at the grassroots. Personally, I am announcing a donation of One million Two hundred thousand Naira only (N1,200,000.00) for the enrolment of 100 vulnerable persons. The Hon. Commissioner for Health is hereby directed to supervise the identification, selection, and enrollment to ensure they are equitably accessing healthcare in their chosen facilities.

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