As the Rivers State House of Assembly plans to pass the state Health Insurance Scheme Bill into law, the Commissioner for Health, Prof Chike Princewill says the state is ripe for the commencement of the programme.

He gave the hint to newsmen during a two-day workshop organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with the state House of Assembly, yesterday in Port Harcourt.

The commissioner said the scheme was key in healthcare delivery in the state, as it will reduce out-of-pocket expenditure on health.

Already, he submitted that the state government was providing the necessary environment for the scheme to take off with the construction of five zonal hospitals, and upgrading of the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BSMH).

He maintained that the scheme would be smoothly implemented as staff and equipment were now available for effective healthcare delivery to citizens.

Explaining what the scheme was all about, the health commissioner said health insurance was one way ordinary citizens could reduce their expenditure on health without stress.

“It is a little payment you make but the policy is what matters because it covers everything, even surgery. If you have abdominal pain or teethache, you go to the hospital with your card, they would not start asking for payment or deposit, but they will start treating you”, Chike said.

He further assured that in Rivers State, the state executive arm would approve it since, “we are starting health insurance with up-to-date health facilities on ground, and with the zonal hospitals, the referral system would be easy to manage”.

Chike said all grey areas in the scheme will also be tackled considering the shortcomings observed in similar programmes. 

Credo the:The Tide

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