Ado Ekiti — For quality healthcare delivery and attainment of the Universal Health Coverage, the Ekiti State Government is to incorporate 500,000 citizens into the State Health Insurance Scheme (SHIS), with women and children below five years as major beneficiaries.
The government has also given a matching order to doctors and nurses operating in the state-owned health facilities to always breach protocols of registration and give expeditious treatments to any patient brought on emergency, to safeguard the lives of the citizens.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oyebanji Filani, stated this yesterday in Ikole Ekiti, Ikole Local Government Area of the state at a community town hall meeting to commemorate 2022 World Health Day with the theme: ‘Our Community, Our Health’.
Filani said the government was taking steps for the decentralisation of the state Sexual Assault Referral Centre to take care of the victims of rape and domestic violence.
On the SHIS scheme, which he said would be undertaken under a new programme called ‘Ilera Wa’, Filani said: “The government of Governor Kayode Fayemi is working hard to capture a total of 500,000 citizens under the scheme, so that they can get treatment at affordable rates.
“The women and children below five years will be major beneficiaries, because they are the most vulnerable groups in the society. We won’t spare any effort to reduce mortality and morbidity rates, and making healthcare more affordable and accessible remains our focus with SHIS.”
On the order that patients brought on emergency should be treated expeditiously, the commissioner clarified that: “This is not a law but part of the oaths taken by doctors to save lives. We value the lives of every citizen. We are not saying patients shouldn’t be registered, but they must be treated first and registration can be perfected later.”
For robust treatment of victims, Filani said the state Specialists Hospital in Ikole Ekiti has been fortified with more manpower, equipment and physical face-lifting to be able to discharge its duties effectively.
He stated that the state government would partner the Federal Ministry of Health for the construction of functional and modern laboratory that can accommodate all cases for quick treatment of patients in the state.
“We have a standard cholera laboratory in Ikole Ekiti Specialist Hospital to attend to cholera cases, but we will soon have fully functional laboratory. Rather than taking our samples to Lagos or Irrua in Edo State, all diseases can be tested here. This will make treatment more speedy and saving lives easier,” Filani said.
Also, the Senior Special Assistant on Public Health, Dr. Jimlas Ogunsakin, said Fayemi is deeply concerned about the wellbeing of Ekiti people, applauding the religious and traditional rulers for their synergy with the state government during the COVID -19 pandemic.
Ogunsakin also applauded their roles in ensuring that all government health programmes spread across the towns and villages to reduce morbidity and mortality rates as well as the realisation of economic potential of every resident of the state.