Bayelsa launches basic health enrolment fund

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The Bayelsa State Government, through the state-owned Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme (BHIS), has begun the enrolment of beneficiaries into the federal government-funded Basic Health Care provision fund (BHCPF).

Speaking at its launch on Monday, the state Commissioner for Health, Pabara Newton-Igwele, described the programme as one of the many “dividends of the prosperity government” of Governor Douye Diri.

Represented by the permanent secretary in the Ministry, Wisdom Sawyer, the commissioner asserted that it was long overdue for the state government to have started benefiting from the federal government scheme.

The commissioner said the scheme aimed at complementing the government’s effort, through the Bayelsa Health insurance scheme, to provide affordable health care to the people of Bayelsa.

“This programme has been flagged-off in Yenagoa Local Government Area, but we’ll take it to all the 107 health centres and 105 wards of 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,” the commissioner said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme was introduced by the administration of former Governor Seriake Dickson, during his second tenure in office.

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Also speaking, the Chairman and Secretary, BHIS, Onyaye Kunle-Olowo and Zuoboemi Agadah respectively, cautioned against infiltration of the scheme by those on the government’s payroll.

The two officials noted that the BHIS had also commenced the registration of beneficiaries in the informal sector, saying that over time, the scheme was expected to attain universal coverage.

“We commend the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the National Health Insurance Scheme, (NHIS), 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.

“It’s for children under five years of age, pregnant women, the elderly and others who can’t afford their health bills and not for those who can afford these bills,” they said.



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