Adebayo Waheed,

The Oyo State government has mandated every residents and citizen of the state to ensure they enroll in the newly introduced state health insurance scheme.

 Explaining the rationale behind the scheme, the Executive Secretary, Oyo State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Olusola Akande in Ibadan on Thursday, said having many people enroll in the scheme would help create a pool of fund to cater for the health needs of the people who might not be able to afford it.

 While thanking the state House of Assembly for providing the legal framework and background for the agency to operate, he said the intention of the Governor Ajimobi-led administration in starting the scheme was to ensure a universal health coverage for all the residents of the state, even when they cannot afford to pay for such treatment.

 Akande added that the governor had approved that pregnant women, vulnerable group and children under five are to access the insurance scheme free of charge.

 The premium for the insurance scheme for individuals, according to Akande is N650 per month or N7,800 per annum depending on the method of payment preferred by each subscriber

 He however added that the agency is currently providing rebate or reduction in the premium for those who registers as families, organisations, corporate bodies or groups depending on the number enrolled together.

“The health insurance is mandatory for every resident of the state going by the signing of the Oyo state health insurance scheme by the governor. If you are registered on the scheme in Oyo state, you are free to enjoy treatment in any parts of the country.

 “The objective is to ensure equity, access and improved standard of healthcare service delivery. It is aimed at eradicating poverty in the long run by helping people reduce the amount of monies spent on health issues and tapping from a pool of fund created by the scheme through the subscribers.

 “In the nearest future, there is going to be massive re-orientation and teaching of the people on the benefits and advantages inherent in the scheme.

 “There is no task-force or punishment for those not on the scheme yet. We are aware the beginning may be a bit difficult but I can assure you that as soon as people begin to benefit, the news will spread and people will understand better and more people would join.

“Interestingly, the scheme would make the subscriber live like a king because service delivery will be upgraded. We are already upgrading the facilities in the adopted hospitals under the scheme and many adopted medical facility (both private and public) are already getting better enhanced and upgraded.

 “Benefit package to be covered in the scheme include treatment of common ailments and conditions not requiring treatment by a specialist consultant, antenatal care for pregnant women and un-assisted deliveries for primary healthcare need of subscribers,” he added.