Alexander Okere, Benin

The Edo State Government has said that it is planning to construct 500 primary health care centres in the state in order to promote the implementation of the Compulsory Health Insurance Scheme.

Governor Godwin Obaseki, who disclosed this during a meeting with the newly inaugurated Governing Board of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital in Benin-City on Tuesday, said the refurbishment of 20 health care centres would commence in April.

The governor also promised to revamp the state nursing school to provide more manpower for the health sector.

Obaseki also revealed that the bill for setting up the health insurance scheme had reached an advanced stage in the House of Assembly.

He explained that his administration’s focus on primary health care was to ensure that basic health services were made accessible and affordable.

The governor said, “A pilot scheme will be rolled out in April when 20 primary health care centres will be refurbished in the 18 local government areas of the state. Subsequently, 200 primary health care centres will be fitted with power and water supply.

“These will be completed in the next 18 months. The target is to complete 500 primary health care centres by the end of my tenure.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the board, Mr. Adedoja Adewolu, has called on the management of the teaching hospital to adopt research and training in addressing the challenges in the health sector.

Speaking during a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, Adewolu urged the university to work closely with the hospital in key areas of medical research.

He added, “To make the teaching hospital meaningful, we need your cooperation and that is why you see that the decree that set up the hospital made a provision for the university representative to be a member of the board.”

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