By Magdalene Barnabas
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has said that the launching of Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) initiative in the state will lift the people of Plateau State out of poverty.
In his words:‘It is our concrete believe that this initiative will lift the people of Plateau State out of poverty and guarantee access to quality health services across the 325 PHCs accredited, one in each of the 325 State Wards and other private Primary and Secondary health care facilities across the seventeen Local Government Areas of Plateau State.’
The Governor who was ably represented by his Deputy Sonni Gwanle Tyoden on Wednesday during the launching and flag-off of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) organised by the Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA), held at the New Government House Little Rayfield, Jos.
Adding, that children in the state would no longer die of preventive diseases following the launching of Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) in the state.
The governor assured that the initiative would also reduce maternal mortality rate in rural communities.
‘With this increased expenditure on health in Plateau State and the provision of premiums by the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, it is our undying hope that maternal mortality rates will precipitously decline, and our children will no longer die from preventable childhood illnesses through robust immunization, provision of vaccines, essential medicines and management of these ailments at the Primary Healthcare Centres,’.
He further emphasized that out-of-pocket payments for health services have been considered highly regressive method of health care financing globally and denied access to healthcare.
‘There is no doubt that out-of-pocket payments for health services have been considered a highly regressive method of healthcare financing globally and it greatly deepens inequity in access to healthcare.
‘As at today, it constitutes over 70% of the methods of healthcare financing in Nigeria. The inequality in access negatively affects the poor and vulnerable among us to a greater proportion.
‘This is because at their point of seeking healthcare, they are squeezed between seeking the care that they need and meeting other basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.’
He said this has over time led to unnecessary deaths among citizens and placed Nigeria low in health rankings globally.
Meanwhile the Director General, Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency, Fabong Jemchang Yildam, said the scheme was aimed at providing health services to the aged persons, children and people with disability.
He added that the effort would help the state and the country to realize the goal of universal health coverage.
Recall that the Barr.Simon Lalong administration in Plateau State has been working assiduously to improve on the health care sector in the state,owing to criticism that the health sector in the state is suffering from infrastructural decay and neglect .