TO ensure that Deltans have access to quality and affordable healthcare, Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has said, his administration has earmarked the sum of 6.6 billion naira to consolidate the ongoing rehabilitation of the health facilities.
It has also set aside 1 billion naira to augment the contributory health insurance scheme.especially the Under-5 and Free Maternal Health Care Scheme.
The Governor made the disclosure while presenting a budget christened “Budget of Hope and Consolidation,” to the Delta State House of Assembly.
While stating that the sum of N6.6 Billion would be spent in the health sub-sector, the Governor reiterated, “our guiding philosophy for this sector is the establishment of a qualitative, affordable and accessible health care delivery system in the State; hence we are focusing on infrastructural development of our hospitals and primary health care centres, as well as the procurement of drugs and cutting-edge medical equipment in major healthcare facilities across the three Senatorial Districts.”
“The Free Maternal and the Free Under-Five Healthcare programmes that were initiated by the previous administration in 2007 and 2010 respectively, are still being implemented. In January 2017, the financing of these programmes was taken over by the Delta State Contributory Health Commission. As at July 2017, total enrolment of these categories of people in the scheme stood at 71,350 (under 5 – 44,445; maternal – 26,905). Registration of civil servants under the scheme has commenced and is currently in progress. Sustaining the Free Maternal and the Free Under-Five Healthcare programmes has been critical in ensuring that the maternal mortality ratio and under-five mortality in the State remain the lowest in the country,” he said.
Senator Okowa emphasised that, “in fulfillment of our pledge to deliver accessible, affordable and qualitative healthcare, the Delta State Contributory Health Commission was established in 2016; with just N7, 000 as premium, the health insurance scheme is already providing pre-paid health services to 112,169 registered enrollees; the scheme is currently functional in 63 secondary health care centres, while 97 primary healthcare facilities in the State have been designated to commence provision of services under the scheme.”
“The Delta State Health Insurance Scheme has kicked off and its cardinal objective is to give Deltans access to quality and affordable healthcare no matter their socio-economic status; the sum of N1.2 Billion is provided for the Commission’s activities during the 2018 fiscal year.”
He said, “we have infused vigour and vitality into the teaching hospital at Oghara with critical personnel changes and the overhauling of the MRI and CT scan facilities that are now functional. In addition, we have instituted Public-Private Partnership for some diagnostic services to ensure sustainability, and a grant of N142m was released to the institution to meet pressing needs. Infrastructural work at the Asaba Central Hospital has continued to receive priority attention from this administration and is now almost 70 per cent completed.”
On the issue of environment, Governor Okowa that his administration would respond adequately to environmental challenges facing the state, saying, “this administration has embarked on urban renewal in key towns and cities across the state which involves rehabilitation, reconstruction, and construction of new roads, clearing of drains, environmental sanitation, public water supply, and beautification in the form of leisure parks and gardens.”
“The sum of N2.2 billion is proposed for the Ministries of Environment and Urban Renewal in the proposed 2018 capital budget,” the Governor said, assuring, “we are committed to the rapid development of the Delta State Capital Territory in line with the Master Plan of the State Capital territory and we have observed that some parts of the state capital territory currently stand the risk of degenerating into urban slums because of the uncoordinated approach to housing development.”
He stated, “the population explosion being witnessed in Asaba is occasioned by influx of people from neighbouring states; with better town planning and visionary leadership, this growth in population can be turned into financial prosperity that benefits all; the sum of N3 Billion has been proposed for the activities of the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency in the 2018 fiscal year.”