The Ogun State Government has said it is working towards engaging the students of tertiary institutions on the need to key-into the benefits of health insurance scheme to ensure they do not have to pay out-of-pocket to access quality healthcare.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, made this disclosure at the activation meeting with stakeholders on the Tertiary Institutions Social Health Insurance Programme ( TISHIP) which she co-hosted with the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, in Abeokuta.
The meeting which had the heads of tertiary institutions, both government-owned and private-owned, Deans of Students Affairs and representatives of Students Union Government ( SUG) in attendance, witnessed deliberations on various issues that will enhance the effectiveness of the initiative.
Speaking on the health insurance for informal sector and the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund( BHCPF) which was formally launched in Ogun State in February 2022 by the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Coker said that undergraduates are a very important aspect of the scheme who incidentally have not been benefitting from it.
She said that the present administration in the state has invested heavily in health across the three tiers of the sector, noting that incorporating the students will enable them to benefit from the scheme both on campus and off-campus at any time of the day or night.
The Health Commissioner said that the government had since engaged artisans, market men and women, Community Development Associations ( CDAs), among others, in a bid to promoting the drive towards achieving universal health coverage.
According to her, the Prince Abiodun-led government is making efforts to build a solid foundation for the health sector which unborn generations will benefit from.
” I want to plead with you to come up with ideas and suggestions that will enhance the workability of this TISHIP. If our undergraduates are onboarded, we will have little or no cause to worry during any health emergency.
” The scheme has been designed to allow for referral from the primary to secondary and tertiary levels of care. Any student of Ogun State does not have to pay out-of-pocket to access quality healthcare considering that the Governor has provided equipment, good infrastructure and human resource for health which are not always available to students, ” she said.
On his part, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Arigbabu, said the initiative would ensure the students of tertiary institutions are well taken care of both on campus and off campus in case of any unforseen circumstance.
Arigbabu said that the activation meeting was to sensitize the heads of tertiary institutions and the leaders of the Students Unions to have their buy-in, pointing out that the entire population of students of each school of higher learning can be better educated by the attendees of the meeting on the benefit package of the scheme.
In his lecture, the Executive Secretary of the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency ( OGSHIA), Dr. Afolabi Dosumu assured that health insurance has come to stay in Ogun State given that it is backed by an Act of Parliament, assuring that keying into the initiative is the way to a secured access to quality healthcare.