The Bayelsa Government through the state-owned Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme (BHIS) has commenced the enrolment of beneficiaries into the Federal Government-funded Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Pabara Newton-Igwele, disclosed this on Monday in Yenagoa at the inauguration of the enrolment exercise.
The exercise is tagged: “Take-off of implementation and registration of eligible enrollees into BHCPF.’’
Newsmen that BHIS was introduced by the administration of former Gov. Seriake Dickson during his second tenure in office.
Newton-Igwele, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Wisdom Sawyer, described the programme as one of the many dividends of the prosperity of Gov. Douye Diri’s administration.
He asserted that it was long overdue for the government to start benefitting from the Federal Government funded scheme.
“This programme has been inaugurated in Yenagoa Local Government Area (LGA), 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 the pregnant women, elderly and the vulnerable in the society.
“No person employed by the government or who is working is entitled to benefit from this fund”, the commissioner said.
Also speaking, the duo of the Chairman and Secretary, BHIS, Prof. Onyaye Kunle-Olowo and Dr Zuoboemi Agadah respectively, cautioned against the infiltration of the scheme by workers who are on the government’s payroll.
The duo noted that the state health insurance scheme had also commenced the registration of beneficiaries in the informal sector, saying that the scheme over time would attain universal coverage.
“We commend the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for their partnership.
“This fund has now been released to the Bayelsa 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, the pregnant women, elderly and others who can’t afford their health bills. But not for those who can afford these bills,’’ they said.