Following the full implementation of the Equity Health Plan, which guarantees free maternal and child health and the increasing number of enrollees of the Delta State Health Insurance Scheme, both in Formal Health Plan and the Informal Health Plan, which have so far recorded over 650,000 enrollees and with 225 initially accredited public and private healthcare facilities throughout the state, the stage is set for the full actualization of the Universal Health Coverage Policy in the state.
However, while keeping tab on the progress of the Governor’s health policy, it is observed that with the increasing number of enrollees to the program, it has become expedient to increase the number of healthcare facilities in order to meet up with the growing demand of health care by enrollees, especially in the rural communities.
Consequently, having realised this reality and dynamics, His Excellency, the Governor, deemed it necessary to approve the private sector initiative as alternative source of funding in order to revitalize moribund healthcare facilities across the State, especially in the rural areas, all geared towards ensuring that there is adequate healthcare facility to ensure that all residents of Delta State have access to quality and affordable healthcare service.
To set the program rolling, the State Government under the command of our amiable Governor entered into partnership with PharmAcess Foundation, Bank of Industry and General Electric Health, a partnership that culminated into the Access To Finance Program.
Under the program, the PharmAccess Foundation, through its Medical Credit Fund, will engage the Bank of Industry and other Financial Partners to fund each selected Service Provider with a low interest loan facility and will provide 50% partial guarantee on each loan facility.
Each loan facility will be treated as an individual credit facility to the Service Provider and monitored as such, so as to track the performance for quality and cost of service to enrollees of the scheme.
Nine out of the ten prospective operators that expressed interest and met the requirements were selected for the program and were allocated healthcare facilities to revitalize and operate. The allocation was done through open balloting.
The repayment of the loan will be from the claims paid to the Service provider by the Delta State Contributory Health Commission as well as other sources of revenue generated from the healthcare facility.
So, far through this program some healthcare facilities are under renovation while others are vibrantly delivering healthcare service to the people.
Some of these health facilities are in Warri North, Warri South West, Warri South, Ika South, Ika North East, Uvwie, Ethiope East, Isoko South, Ndokwa West, Ukwuani and Aniocha North Local Government Areas.
Efforts are on to include other LGAs to ensure a good spread across the State.
Obior Health Facility, Aninwachokor Health Facility and Ute Okpu Health Facility amongst others took off in December, 2019.
The process includes identification of a moribund healthcare facility in an area, Survey of the facility With LGA council authority and the community, Sensitisation of the community on the benefit of the ACCESS TO FINANCE program, to get their support and handover ceremony to the Service Provider to commence renovation and lastly start off of healthcare services in the community and environs.
Access to Finance Program is an arrangement to allow private healthcare providers participate fully in His Excellency’s novel health policy of ensuring that all the residents of Delta State have effective, quality, affordable and accessible healthcare service.
Dr. Michael Nwoko
SSA to the Governor of Delta State (Health Monitoring).