Infant medicare remains free in Delta , says Nkechika

Posted by Grand News | 10 October 2017 | 1,353 times

Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State Governor.

The Director General, Delta State Contributory Health Commission, Dr. Ben Nkechika, has said that the current administration has not only retained the free medical policy of the last administration but strengthened it for improved service delivery.

The clarification was made on Monday in Asaba in response to online reports that misrepresented the health policy of Senator Okowa's  administration.

The DG said," Dr Ifeanyi Okowa did not phase out the Free Maternal and Under 5 Health-Care Programme in Delta State. The Delta State Government is still paying for the healthcare services given to all pregnant women and children under 5 years in hospitals. The programme only transitioned into the Health Scheme through which government pays to the hospitals for the service to ensure sustainability and accountability in the programme".

 While commending the governor for consolidating  the programme, Dr. Nkechika said through the law "that 0.5% of the Delta State Consolidated Revenue should be set aside and used to pay for the healthcare service, the policy has become recognised by statute but further assured of sustainability as against what the administration inherited"

Continuing further, Dr. Nkechika said the law also requires government to support the programme with grant of 0.5%  from statutory allocation, stressing that the financial support has made it possible to extend the programme to rural communities that were hitherto not accommodated.

According to him," the previous system was not looking after the rural and real pregnant women and under 5 years children  that actually need the support because the program was only in secondary healthcare facilities in LGA headquaters instead of the Primary Healthcare Centres in the rural communities. The programme has now been extended to Primary Healthcare Centres in rural communities across the state under the Health Scheme as directed by the governor. He said "over 80,000 pregnant women and children under five years have received the free healthcare services and paid for by the government under the Health Scheme from January to September 2017."

It would be recalled that  due to the desire of the state government to review the infant and pregnant women health services, several anti government machineries went viral, misrepresenting what Delta State Government perceived as "the best decision in view of various options available".

Source: Grand News

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