Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has presented a draft of N500m as take off grant to the newly inaugurated board of the State Health Services Scheme to kick start the programme. This is just, as he signed into law the Bayelsa State Health Services Scheme bill that has been described as the first of its kind in the country.
In addition, the government will be remitting between N50m and N100m monthly into the coffers of the Board, to assist in the delivery of the present administration’s health policy.
Disclosing this at the inauguration ceremony of the Bayelsa State Health Services Scheme Board on Friday in Yenagoa, Hon. Dickson said the scheme is primarily targeted at the public servants in the State, adding that they are automatic subscribers to the scheme.
According to him, with the inauguration of the Board, government has provided a legal backing for the establishment of a credible functional and sustainable Health scheme for the Public servants.
“The board will come up with a scheme of premium whereby different people at different grades in our public service will pay and subscribe to it. Irrespective of what they get because of the importance we attach to this programme and the need to ensure its sustainability, government of this great state, apart from the initial N500 million deposit that we are going to give to them, we will also make a monthly payment to the fund of N50 to N100 million every month.
“The whole idea is that whatever they get from the subscriptions from the public sector whatever the amount is, government will also augment it so that those who require medical attention will always have enough funds for treatment.
‘‘When our facilities are completed, and I hope in the next 4 months our Diagnostic centre will be completed, it will be our policy and it will be the duty of this board to implement same, that every public sector worker, every tax paying citizen of this state will be entitled to at least, free medical diagnostic treatment once every year.
Urging the private sector to take advantage of the scheme, Hon. Dickson who also pointed out that the diagnostic centre under construction, when completed in the next 4 months; public servants would enjoy free medical check-up once in a year.
Consequently, he solicited the partnership of the federal government in the area of training of manpower in the medical field as his administration strives to ensure that public servants have the full benefits of the restoration government.
Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, commended Governor Dickson for initiating the scheme, stating that it would boost the delivery of primary health care in the state.
Prof. Chukwu described the establishment of the health programme as a demonstration of total leadership and assured the state government of Federal Government’s collaboration in the provision of training for medical personnel.
Responding, Chairman of the BHSS, Dr. Markson Amaigbe expressed appreciation to Governor Dickson for the confidence reposed in them and admonished members of the board against sharp practices in the discharge of their responsibilities.