Delta sets up contributory health commission
Doctor Ben Nkechika is the Director General/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission (DSCHC). Nkechika, in this interview with CHUKWUMA MUANYA spoke on the efforts of the Commission to reach everybody in the state, with pre-paid quality healthcare.
What informed the establishment of the Commission?
In an effort to achieve the Universal Health Coverage mandate of the United Nations, and to further implement one of the SMART Agenda programmes of the Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa administration in Delta State, the State Government established DSCHC with a mandated to implement a Social Health Insurance Scheme (SHIS) for all residents of Delta State.
The Bill to establish the Commission was transmitted to the Delta State House of Assembly on the 22nd June 2015. It was passed into law by the Delta State House of Assembly, on the December 9, 2015.
Has it been signed into law?
The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa signed the Law on the February 4, 2016. The Law establishes The Delta State Contributory Health Commission, Delta State Contributory Health Scheme and other Matters Connected Thereto as well as a Governing Board for the Commission, which will regulate, supervise, implement and ensure effective administration of a Mandatory Delta State Contributory Health Scheme, for all residents of Delta State.
Have you started implementation of the programme?
The Delta State Government has so far carried out the following activities towards the implementation of the Scheme. We have contracted a consultant firm to carry out a baseline survey, to determined key household demography and health seeking behavior of Deltans, to guide planning for expanded health insurance coverage.
The survey would also determined the current household spending on health, health insurance coverage needs and willingness to pay for health insurance in Delta State.
It will address the proportion of Delta State residents in the lowest socio-economic quintiles, to guide decisions on subsidy and or exemptions from payment. The survey assessed the availability and capacity of health delivery facilities in Delta State, to deliver proposed health insurance services and the readiness of health facilities, to deliver proposed services across all 25 Local Government Areas (LGAs). The Commission has also commenced a statewide health service quality improvement initiative with visit to healthcare facilities across the State; and commenced advocacy meetings with the Hospital Management Board, Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Private Healthcare Providers Association, LGA Chairmen and LGA PHC Coordinators, various formal and informal sector associations and other relevant stakeholders.
When are you starting and with which group?
The Commission is proposed to start off the Scheme with the following set of enrollees: Pregnant women and children under-five years of age that belong to the vulnerable group and approved by the Executive Council of the Delta State Government, as part of the Equity Health Plan. The formal sector group comprises the organized private sector and the public sector through collection of their contribution and enrolment into the Scheme. The informal sector groups after they pay their premium get enrolled into the Scheme. Other members of the vulnerable group would be incorporated after mapping, budget determination and approval by the Executive Council of the Delta State Government.
The Scheme start-up process will be strategically controlled, to ensure adequate mobilization of resources and to ensure an effective and efficient cross subsidy program. Great effort will also be put in to ensure maximization of external support funding potentials and counterpart funding programs available.
The Commission will operate in compliance with the provision of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission law, signed by the Governor of Delta state on the 4th February 2016 and will regulate and implement a Mandatory Contributory Health Scheme for all residents of Delta State.