The Bayelsa State Government has begun enrolling beneficiaries into the Federal Government-funded Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF). The program will be done through the state-owned Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme (BHIS).
Premium Times reports that Pabara Newton-Igwele, the State Commissioner for Health, spoke during the launch. He described it as one of the various dividends of the prosperity government of the State Governor, Douye Diri. The commissioner was represented by Wisdom Sawyer, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry. He stated that it was long overdue for the state government to start benefiting from the Federal Government Scheme.
He also stated that the scheme was aimed at complementing the effort of the Government. He also mentioned that they would provide affordable healthcare to the people of Bayelsa through the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme.
He explained that the programmer is set to be flagged-off in Yenagoa Local Government Area. However, they would take the program to all 107 health centres and 105 wards in the state.
“It’s for children under the age of five, for pregnant women, the elderly and the vulnerable in society. No person employed by the government or who is working is entitled to benefit from this fund,” he explained.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson introduced the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme during his second tenure in office.
Onyaye Kunle-Olowo, the Chairman of BHIS, and Zuoboemi Agadah, the Secretary of BHIS warned those on the Government’s payroll against infiltrating the scheme. They also noted that the scheme had commenced registration of beneficiaries in the informal sector, pointing out that as time went on, the scheme would attain universal coverage.
They commended organizations such as the National Health Insurance Scheme, (NHIS), the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and the World Health Organization (WHO), for their partnership.
“This fund has now been released to the Bayelsa State Government and this take-off programme of the fund is a signal that we’ve commenced the deployment, as well as utilisation of the fund for the right beneficiaries and purposes.” They explained.
They explained that the funds are for children under five years, pregnant women, elderly people, and other people who cannot afford their bills. They further stated that the funds are not for people who can afford their health bills.