Delta State Civil servants have been urged to embrace the recently initiated Delta State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme rolled out by the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, even as they have been assured that the benefits of the provision of adequate healthcare for workers, though capital intensive, especially at this time of very depleted financial resources accruing to the state, will far outweigh the contribution which workers are now making to support its funding, in the long run.
The call was made by the Permanent Secretary, Delta State Government House, Sir Edwin Ogidi-gbegbaje, during the 1st Congress 2018, of the Delta State Administrative Officers Forum, which held at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba, on March 8, 2018, with a lecture titled : Understanding the Delta State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme: The Imperatives, as the main theme of the Congress.
Sir Ogidi-gbegbaje, who is also the Chairman of the Administrative Officers Forum, in an exclusive chat, spoke against the backdrop of a noticeble lukewarm enthusiasm expressed by many Delta state civil servants to fully embrace the scheme, and noted that the attitude was understandable, given the not too pleasant experiences of the workers in relation to past schemes like the contributory housing and pension schemes, which did not adequately deliver the advertised results and benefits promised to the workers at the initiation of those schemes.
Ogidi-gbegbaje however, quickly apologised to the workers who may have felt aggrieved with the manner the scheme was commenced and while assuring them that continuous sentization and enlightenment, like this one organised by the Administrative officers forum will be carried out regularly to educate workers on the benefits of the scheme, assured them that the Delta State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme was very dear to the heart of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, not only in his capacity as a medical Doctor and also Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health in his days as a Senator of the Federal republic Nigeria, but because the Delta governor, as a former Secretary to the Delta State government, is fully conversant with the importance of having a healthy workforce at all times and since government was the highest employer of Labour, the financial burden which would be shouldered by the administration to provide quality and easily accessible healthcare to workers and their benefactors, at this time of dimished allocation would very weighty to bear and so would appreciate a token contribition especially from those who would be the ultimate and direct benefiaciaries of the scheme.
The Delta State Government House Permanent Secretary, still speaking on the benefits of the Delta State Contributory Health Insurance scheme, further noted that the participation of workers in the scheme would provide a ready pool of financial resources which would guarantee the provision of adequate and comprehensive Medicare to workers and their families, at any hospital or medical facility of their choice, anytime a health challenge arose and at no cost at all, once they were duly registered and fully captured in the health scheme, adding that this would greatly help to augment the humanitarian expenses which government is usually required to provide regularly, to assist those Deltans with other health challenges, who are not civil servants.
Sir Ogidi-gbegbaje, who described the Delta State Contributory Health Insurance scheme as a very welcome development that would be of tremendous benefit to the entire Delta State Civil servants once they were enrolled in the scheme, affirmed that even those who had already enrolled are now enjoying the administration of quality health care as and when required at the health facility of their choice and were appreciative of the fact that such a scheme, with the preservation of life as its objective, had been made available to them.
He then enjoined those who were yet to be enrolled in the Delta state Contributory Health Insurance scheme to do so without delay, as this would also afford government the opportunity to rehabilitate and fully equip the health care centres in the rural communities in order to make the provision of adequate health care more accessible to those already enrolled in the scheme whose relatives reside in those rural areas, even as he assured that the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was determined to ensure that Delta workers and civil servants enjoy the dividends of democracy and all the benefits they are entitled to, including quality health care for all.
Those who attended the Administrative Forum’s 1st Congress 2018 and listened to the lecture delivered by the gurst speaker Mr. Martin Bolum, the Director of Administration at the Delta State Contributory Health Insurance Commission, included the Delta State Head of Service Sir. Reginald Bayoko, the Permanent Secreataries from all the key MDAs as well as Directors and other members of the Administrative officers cadre of the the Delta State Civil service