Oyo launches N50bn fund to enhance healthcare delivery

The  Oyo state government has  launched a N50 billion healthcare endowment fund as part of the efforts to transform the health sector in the State and meet international standards.

Gov. Abiola Ajimobi, who promised judicious application of the fund, said that the target is to make the state a medical hub of Nigeria, if not Africa.“Oyo State has all it takes to be the medical hub of Africa and we are appealing to well-meaning Nigerians.We are at a turning point in the history of healthcare service in Oyo State, and it is important for us to adopt public-private-partnership as it is not possible to continue the business as usual approach due to financial situation, Ajimobi said.

He said that it is the responsibility of the government to enhance the health of its citizenry and preserve it.“It is in the interest of the citizenry that we launched the `Free Health Mission’ in 2012. We are proud to say that no fewer than one million of our people have benefited from the programme.

We have provided equipment and drugs to various hospitals across the state, and to cap it all, we introduced the Healthcare Insurance Scheme few months back,’’ the governor said.

Ajimobi said the state government had realized that the best of transformation could be achieved through partnership with the private sector and other relevant stakeholders , adding that his administration has identified the need to make health of the people a cardinal project.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, described the initiative as a unique one.Adewole said that there is no where in the world where quality healthcare delivery was made the sole responsibility of government.

The minister, represented by Prof. Temitope Alonge, the Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, urged the state government to leverage on available partnership outside the country.

In his remarks, Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe, the Chairman Board of Trustee of the fund, described the initiative as unique in the country.

Akinkugbe said that the PPP initiative would allow the rich to contribute to care for the downtrodden and he assured the people of the state that resources in cash and kind would continue to be donated to the fund’s purse after the initial fund.

Also, Mr. Bola Olaosebikan, the Consultant to the government on the endowment initiative, said it is imperative that the fund is channeled toward resuscitating the health sector in the state.“We know the best and the worst health centres and general hospitals in the state and we shall start in earnest to do the renovation.This approach is in conformity with the global health practices and when the money is collected, everybody will be carried along,” Olaosebikan said.

The Chief Launcher, Dr. Paul Abollo, commended the state government for the initiative, saying that the fund would bring about the desired growth and sustainable healthcare delivery.

Abollo, who is also a representative of OYOMESI Consortium, said the issue of healthcare is a collective responsibility, adding that the project is about humanity and required urgent attention.

Earlier, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan, the State Commissioner for Health said that the endowment fund would be channelled to the renovation and upgrading of health institutions across the state.

NAN/Adama.L