TO ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE FOR PLATEAU STATE, GOV. LALONG LAUNCHES CONTRIBUTORY HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT AGENCY

By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Rescue Administration in Plateau State has taken forward once more its first pillar policy thrust of Peace, Security and Good Governance, by launching the much awaited Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA).

Governor Simon Bako Lalong, who launched the Agency yesterday, 15th of September, 2020, has described the event as historical and very special to the Rescue Administration’s mission.

Lalong said, “This is a special day for Plateau State, as we make history with yet another important aspect of our Rescue Mission in the health sector. It therefore gives me great pleasure to officially launch the Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA)”.

“The World Health Organization acknowledges health as a fundamental human right and this administration believes firmly in this assertion. This is because only the healthy can participate in economic and social activities that contribute to the development of their communities”.

It is of note that the Rescue Administration in the state is currently constructing six (6) hospitals across the three senatorial zones in order to meet up with increase demand for qualitative healthcare.

Also commenced during the launching of the Agency by the Governor, is the Plateau State Social Health Insurance Scheme.

Governor Simon Bako Lalong in his speech during the launch in part said, “By this launch, we are equally commencing the enrolment of our citizens into the Plateau State Social Health Insurance Scheme. This is a great step towards achieving Universal Health Coverage in Plateau State which is in line with the Rescue Administration’s first pillar policy thrust of Peace, Security and Good Governance.

“The World Health Organization acknowledges health as a fundamental human right and this administration believes firmly in this assertion. This is because only the healthy can participate in economic and social activities that contribute to the development of their communities.

“It is against this backdrop that this Government has invested massively in the development of the health sector through provision of infrastructure, medical consumables and equipment as well as manpower training.

“This underscores our focus on upgrading our health facilities to global standards through the Lalong Legacy Projects where we are currently constructing 6 hospitals across the three senatorial districts in order to meet the increasing demand for qualitative, preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative healthcare throughout the State”.

READ THE SPEECH IN FULL BELOW:-

GOV. LALONG

 SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, RT. HON. (DR) SIMON BAKO LALONG, KSGG, EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE AT THE LAUNCH OF PLATEAU STATE CONTRIBUTORY HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT AGENCY (PLASCHEMA) & FLAG OFF OF ENROLMENT INTO THE STATE SOCIAL HEALTH INSURANCE SCHEME HELD ON 15TH SEPTEMBER 2020.

Protocol

  1. This is a special day for Plateau State as we make history with yet another important aspect of our Rescue Mission in the health sector. It therefore gives me great pleasure to officially launch the Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA).
  2. By this launch, we are equally commencing the enrolment of our citizens into the Plateau State Social Health Insurance Scheme. This is a great step towards achieving Universal Health Coverage in Plateau State which is in line with the Rescue Administration’s first pillar policy thrust of Peace, Security and Good Governance.
  3. The World Health Organization acknowledges health as a fundamental human right and this administration believes firmly in this assertion. This is because only the healthy can participate in economic and social activities that contribute to the development of their communities.
  4. It is against this backdrop that this Government has invested massively in the development of the health sector through provision of infrastructure, medical consumables and equipment as well as manpower training.
  5. This underscores our focus on upgrading our health facilities to global standards through the Lalong Legacy Projects where we are currently constructing 6 hospitals across the three senatorial districts in order to meet the increasing demand for qualitative, preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative healthcare throughout the State.
  6. Despite our lofty intentions to provide the best health facilities throughout the length and breadth of the State, we have realised that a major challenge has remained that of access, particularly by the poor and vulnerable persons who are at the bottom of the social ladder.
  7. This is why we established Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA) to serve as a vehicle to midwife the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Plateau State. This development is definitely a game changer.
  8. My hope is that the take-off of this scheme will guarantee access to quality and timely healthcare services for the elderly, physically and mentally challenged, children less than 5 years, orphaned and vulnerable children, pregnant women and the Internally Displaced Persons, who at the moment face difficulties.
  9. Experience from across the world has shown that the establishment of a health security system such as the one we are launching today has the capacity to significantly impact positively on the health of the population. This is why I shall be closely monitoring the operations of this scheme to ensure that our goals are met.
  10. Let me therefore warn those that are saddled with the implementation of this programme to stick to the guidelines and conduct themselves in the most transparent, efficient and professional manner. We shall not tolerate any abuse or manipulation of the process under whatever guise.
  11. I urge the management of PLASCHEMA to work closely with the National Health Insurance Scheme with a view to learning from their successes and avoiding some of their mistakes. Such partnership will help to shorten the learning curve and also ensure that the programme succeeds.
  12. It is our hope that the citizens of Plateau State will avail themselves of this unique opportunity to enroll and gain access to quality healthcare. This scheme is open for all Plateau residents in the formal and informal sectors together with their families.
  13. Let me use this opportunity to again reassure the people of Plateau State that my administration will keep faith with its promise to leave lasting legacies in all sectors, including health.
  14. Let me use this opportunity to again reassure the people of Plateau State that my administration will keep faith with its promise to leave lasting legacies in all sectors, including health.
  15. We have demonstrated this by completing projects such as the Riyom General Hospital after about 13 years since it was abandoned. Work has continued on other abandoned General Hospitals in Kwal in Kanke Local Government and Mabudi in Lantang South.
  16. We are also taking the training of health professionals to the next level as the Plateau State University Bokkos has concluded plans for the take-off of the Faculty of Health Sciences. This is backed up with the establishment of a proposed Teaching Hospital.
  17. I will like to draw the attention of our citizens to the corona virus pandemic which we are currently dealing with. It is a reality that we have to confront the disease by adhering to stipulated guidelines for prevention and treatment.
  18. Of recent, Plateau State has featured prominently in the daily chart of cases released by the NCDC. This is not unconnected with the fact that our State is now about the number three with the highest number of Covid-19 tests in Nigeria.
  19. Coupled with this is the delay in processing samples which accounts for backlog that appear to indicate high number of cases when eventually released.
  20. For us, it is better to test and deal with the infections than to shy away and put the lives of people at risk. While I commend the citizens for submitting to testing, I wish to appeal that we take personal responsibility by embracing hygiene protocols that protect us all.
  21. Let me at this point thank the Speaker and Hon. Members of the Plateau State House of Assembly for giving due consideration to the PLASCHEMA bill and passing it into law which gives us the legal backing to hold this ceremony today.
  22. Similarly, I wish to appreciate development partners who have played various roles in ensuring that we come this far. I am optimistic that we shall continue to work together to ensure that this programme achieves its set objectives and impacts the health and well-being of our people.
  23. God bless Plateau State, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Rt. Hon. (Dr) Simon Bako Lalong, KSGG,

Executive Governor.

15th September, 2020.

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