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Home Health GoHealth attributes success to governor’s political will, leadership

GoHealth attributes success to governor’s political will, leadership

The Gombe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (GoHealth) has attributed its successes in providing affordable healthcare services in the state to the political will of the state Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya.

According to the agency, the Governor’s commitment to the health and well-being of the people of Gombe State has been instrumental in driving the success of the state’s healthcare scheme. This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary (ES) of the agency, Dr Abubakar Musa, who revealed that Governor Yahaya had always had the health and wellness of the people at heart long before he was elected as the state governor.

The ES who stated this in an interview with newsmen in his office added that upon assuming office in 2019, the governor almost immediately focused on ensuring that service availability and readiness of the state’s health sector is optimised and improved upon by investing in the supply side of the sector.

He said, “The governor ensured that in each of political wards of the state, there is at least one fully functional primary healthcare centre that is either constructed or renovated and upgraded with basic equipment provided, human resources improved upon to a large extent.

For the first time a hospital service management board was established, Gombe used to be the only state without a hospital service management board and the governor made that a priority, and before the end of 2019 Gombe had a hospital service management board with the responsibility of overseeing, monitoring and supervising the activities at the secondary healthcare facilities and those secondary facilities were massively touched upon with some reconstructed and upgraded,” Dr Abubakar stated, adding that since then the governor has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to improving healthcare services including the establishment of the agency in Gombe State.

He explained that the governor provided the agency with the necessary resources and financial support to ensure that healthcare services are affordable and accessible to everyone in the state. He said, “Gombe is the only state that I am aware of that is giving equal contribution for health insurance for its workers, our contribution is a 50/50 arrangement, the worker contributes 3.5 percent of his gross salary and the state government gives 3.5 percent too and that has given us the financial muscles to be able to carry on with our enrolments and pay for those services without acquiring liabilities and no scheme will survive without that financial background”.

According to him, GoHealth is not just established to care for the civil servants, but all residents in the state, including those in the formal and informal sector as well as students and retirees in the state. The ES said, “GoHealth is an agency that was established with the sole aim of ensuring that all residents of Gombe state have access to quality and affordable healthcare services without suffering financial hardship. Since the establishment of the agency we have rolled out a number of programs, we have rolled out three programs; the formal sector program, the informal sector program as well as the equity program.

The formal sector program is a program that covers all those who are in formal employment, including the state civil servants, local government workers, and their dependents, people in the organised private sector, students of tertiary institutions as well as retirees and pensioners. So far, we have been able to fully commence the state civil servants program since October 2021 and we have enrolled no fewer than 50,000 workers and their dependants and they have been enjoying access to these quality services in all our accredited facilities over the last two years.

Just recently we have been able to make headways with the organised labor as to the enrolment of local government workers, we are hoping to see to the enrolment of about 180,000 lives of both the principals and their dependants. Under the informal sector program which covers people who do not have any kind of employment, like artisans, traders, and others, we have enrolled nearly 10,000,” Dr Abubakar stated.

He further explained that the Governor’s efforts have resulted in a significant increase in the number of people enrolled in the state’s healthcare scheme. He also highlighted that the achievements and successes of the agency have been outstanding one which has led to several states including the national health insurance authority looking to adopt the model to improve healthcare delivery in their respective states.

“We are among the last few states to establish a contributory health insurance scheme, but from our establishment two years ago to date, no fewer than five states including the national health insurance authority have come on a study tour to see the magic and the secrecy with which were able to get to where we are within just about two years,” Dr Abubakar added while emphasising that the successes of the agency are a testament to the state governor’s political will and leadership.

Speaking on the equity program rolled out by the agency Dr Abubakar said, “The equity program is a program that takes care of the needs of the poor and vulnerable, there are those members of the society that are at lowest social ape that cannot afford to pay the premium for health insurance by themselves, such category of people are usually taken care of by the government, we have the Basic Healthcare Provision (BHCPF) program which is the federal government program that is funded through the consolidated revenue of the federation.

“So far, we have had three circles of enrolment from 2021 to date and no fewer than 120,000 people have benefited from that scheme over the last three years. In the first circle, we had 25,000, for the second circle we had 35,000 and now we have about 50,000, so if you put it together, from inception to date we have 120,000 lives that have enjoyed that particular scheme.

“We have a subset of the BHCPF which is the state-funded equity program, we must give thanks to His Excellency, the governor of Gombe State for releasing the 25 percent counterpart funding for the BHCPF, he released that in 2022 and he also released that in 2023 which has seen us enrolled additional 10,000 poor and vulnerable people into the scheme.

“The third subset of the equity program is what we call the donor-funded equity program, where we have some donors coming in to provide financial resources for the agency to enrol additional poor and vulnerable. Presently we are in partnership with UNICEF who have supported us in enrolling 10,000 vulnerable, particularly the zero dose Children, Children who have not had any form of immunisation, so all in all, in the last two years, the agency has been able to touch the lives of no fewer than 200,000 people across the state,” Dr Abubakar explained.

THE SUN

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