BusinessDay

Utilise healthcare fund, Edo govt urges residents

The Edo government has decried the low utilisation of the state’s healthcare fund, saying that about 50 enrollees of the fund had benefited from the services since it became active in the state in 2021.

Briefing journalists on Tuesday in Benin City, Obehi Akoria, the commissioner for health, urged residents who have been enrolled in the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) to take advantage of the funding provided for indigent persons in the state so as to access quality healthcare services and reduce the burden of out-of-pocket health expenditures.

Akoria explained that two of the three healthcare fund gateways, to which the Federal Government commits up to one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), alongside counterpart funding from the Edo State government, are currently functional in the state.

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She listed the gateways to include the Edo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (EDSPHCDA) and the Edo Health Insurance (EDHIC) gateways, respectively, adding that “we have also constituted the State Oversight Committee which is working closely with the EDSPHCDA and EDHIC to ensure that the funding is efficiently and effectively utilised.”

“Fewer than 50 enrollees of the healthcare fund had benefited from the services since it became active in the state in 2021.

“In the last couple of months, we have done extremely well in increasing enrolment into the BHCPF. Initially, the focus was on Edo South senatorial district for manageability, but in the last three months, the Edo State Health Insurance Commission has extended enrolment to residents in Edo Central and Edo North senatorial zones. From just over 2000 enrollees, we had 29,211 enrollees state-wide as of June 30, 2021.

“We have taken the pains to reach thousands of enrollees by calling them directly and we found that majority of enrollees who ought to be benefitting from the healthcare funding are not.

“Currently, 142 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the state have received capitation to provide free healthcare services to the poor and other vulnerable residents,” Akoria said.

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