Godwin Obaseki said he introduced the Edo state health insurance scheme to help with paying for health care.
As the race for the Edo state governorship election lurks in the corner, the governorship candidates on September 13 took to the stage for a debate organised by Channels Television ahead of the September 19 poll.
The debate, which was between the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Godwin Obaseki and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu lasted over an hour with the candidates defending their eligibility for the position.
During the debate, the candidate of PDP and the incumbent governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki claimed he introduced the Edo state health insurance scheme to help with paying for health care in the state
In his words, “What is important is care, how we deliver health care to our people and underlying that is who pays and what we have done is to address the core issue of payment by introducing the Edo state Health Insurance Scheme, once people are able to put something aside for their health care, then it becomes easy to pay for care and to get investments into the healthcare system.”
On October 31 2019, media publications reported that the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki launched a health care insurance scheme in Edo state as an initiative under the Edo State Health Improvement Program (Edo-HIP). The programme according to the Governor’s media aide, Crusoe Osagie, “is to strengthen the primary healthcare system; provision of access to specialist care for most common ailments and healthcare financing to ensure the system is sustainably run”
Also the State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Patrick Okundia said the scheme “is aimed at delivering quality healthcare to the doorsteps of the people across the state with a view to achieving universal health coverage.”
The Federal Government through its minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire also commended the scheme saying the scheme is in line with the mandate of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Edo-HIP also has a website where the governor is captured to have said that “Edo-HIP is a series of government-led intervention aimed at increasing access to efficient, effective and sustainable quality health care services with the central focus of improving the health status and well-being of citizens of Edo State”
Findings show that the enrollment is still ongoing as the governor in December 2019 was reported to have promised to have at least 1 million people enrolled in the scheme before the end of 2021
Obaseki said citizens were mandated to enrol and would “be given a card that will enable you to access healthcare in the state provided you are enrolled. For civil servants and local government workers in Edo State, they will be compulsorily enrolled into the scheme from January 1, 2020”
On the issue of funding, the governor’s media aide, Crusoe Osagie said funds will be sourced from the basic healthcare provision fund and equity fund
The Basic Health Care Provision Fund was part of the National Health Act (NHAct) signed into law in October 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The fund is 1 percent of the federal Government’s Consolidated revenue for the provision of health care services to all Nigerians and for the organisation and management of the health system.
Conclusion: The claim that Obaseki introduced Edo State Health Insurance Scheme is TRUE