While inaugurating the Commission, the State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa advocated universal health insurance coverage for Nigerians of all walks of life.
Speaking on 04/04/16 at the inauguration of the Chairman and Director-general of the Commission in Asaba, Governor Okowa emphasized that health insurance would ensure that funding will not deter Nigerians from having access to healthcare facilities.
Senator Okowa inaugurated Dr Isaac Akpoveta as Chairman of the Commission, while Dr Ben Nkechika will serve as the Director-General.
According to the Governor, “all over the world, the talk is about universal health coverage, because, if we want to improve the health outcome of Nigerians, we must drive the health sector in a new direction and I do believe that as long as Nigerians continue to pay money from their pockets in order to obtain health services and considering the level of the economy and poverty in the land, we are very unlikely to have improved health outcomes until we truly embrace health insurance policies.”
Governor Okowa observed that the advocacy programme of his administration has been very effective because of the importance of the health insurance coverage.
“All Deltans should see themselves as advocates of this contributory health insurance scheme, because when you pay low premium and you are not sick, you will not appreciate the scheme until when a family member is sick and you need to expend large sum of money which you may not have at that point in time,” he said, adding, “we need to plan for the future of our family and the best way is to enlist them in this universal health scheme.”
He reiterated, “to ensure effective coverage, government will support the vulnerable, down-trodden and the poor.”
The Governor lauded the Delta State House of Assembly, National Health Insurance Commission, and stakeholders for the different roles they played in the successful take off of the Delta State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.
The Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Commission, Dr. Olufemi Akingbade commended Governor Okowa’s administration for its commitment to the well being of the people while Dr Akpoveta on behalf of the DG and other members of the Commission, thanked Governor Okowa for the confidence reposed in them, assuring that they would work in accordance to the law establishing the Commission.