From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma has flagged-off the enrollment of vulnerable persons in the state into the federal government’s Basic Healthcare Provision Fund Scheme.
The scheme is expected to offer a refreshing insurance that will allow the poor people, especially the less privileged, to have access to quality healthcare delivery irrespective of their status in the society.
Performing the flag-off ceremony at the Owerri Municipal Council Headquarters on Monday, the governor said effecting the enrollment of vulnerable persons in the Health Insurance Scheme is a laudable health innovation that centres on comprehensive healthcare of the vulnerable.
Governor Uzodinma said the idea is yet ‘another visible signpost in his administration’s resolve for the provision of efficient and affordable health care services to Imo people which heralds a brand new chapter in the provision of healthcare.’
He applauded the federal government for collaborating with the state governments to initiate the noble mission, noting that ‘the federal government through the National Health Care Act 2014 established the basic health provision fund to carter for the enrollment of the vulnerable persons covering children under five years of age, pregnant women, disabled and the poorest of the poor in the society.
‘The beneficiaries of the Scheme are mostly those in the rural areas from the basic healthcare fund which will be accessible through the 305 healthcare centres in all the 305 INEC wards in the state.
‘These centres will serve as a platform through which the vulnerable groups can have access to free healthcare services under the fund. Only those that have been enrolled in the scheme will have access to the fund,’ Uzodinma assured.
He also promised the people that the fund for the healthcare scheme is already in place courtesy of the federal government provision and the counterpart fund provided by the state government.
Governor Uzodinma expressed his passion for the health of hapless in the society, noting that it is the responsibility of all to encourage them to enroll in the scheme.
He, however, urged those mostly affected to come out en mass to enroll in the scheme, saying ‘this is one of the opportunities the people should not toil with.’He stressed that, ‘it is a free, quality health services.’
The governor also warned unscrupulous elements in the society who will want to tamper with the funds to have a rethink and emphasised that ‘those found indulging in such act will be made to face the full weight of the law. Such people shall be deemed guilty of profiting from blood money and have deprived the vulnerable access to good health by stealing from their funds.’