By Festus Ahon
ASABA—DELTA State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, has said that the 405 primary healthcare centres in the state were being revived to form a base for the take off of the state Health Insurance Contributory Scheme.
Azinge, in a chat with newsmen in his Asaba office, insisted that the free rural healthcare scheme of the state has not been discontinued, saying it was being reviewed to make it more sustainable to meet the needs of the people.
Noting that all Deltans would be captured under the State Health Insurance Contributory Scheme, he said that the insurance scheme would form a platform for the administration of free healthcare for rural dwellers.
He said: “The rural healthcare scheme has not been discontinued but due to scarce resources, we have re-channelled it to get it subsumed under the new Delta State Health Insurance Contributory Scheme.
“In that way, if we can get all the citizens of the state registered, then healthcare will go to them instead of this system of taking healthcare to certain areas and treatment is not sustained.
“We have 405 primary health centres in 265 wards, the aim is to get the primary health centres running so that healthcare will get to patients at the grassroots.
“Federal Government is fixing one primary health centre per ward which gives 265, and in this year’s budget, the state government will be fixing two primary health centres per ward. We raise them to a standard to satisfy the rural healthcare programme.”
Noting that the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme team has already started work, he said that the initial figures as contribution from the various stakeholders were being adjusted to capture all sectors of the economy, including the informal sector.
“You can only do a percentage for the formal sector where you know the salary. In the informal sector, we have to sensitise them and do advocacy to get them as a community health insurance plan,” he said.