By Ogar Monday
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has launched the state’s health policies and plans with a view to effectively steer the sector to a sustainable direction that will provide quality and affordable healthcare delivery for residents.
“This is an affirmation of our commitment to provide qualitative and affordable healthcare services to our people,” Ayade said Tuesday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital at the event which marked the end of a two day inaugural health summit which drew stakeholders from across the sector to brainstorm on the theme: Translating Health Policies and Plans into Actions.
Represented by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, Ayade said the event “presents a turning point in health care management.
“Gathered here are the who-is-who of the health sector both at the state, national and global level. We gathered in this submit, which is the first in the annals of the history of our dear state to make one common resolution; to provide basic qualitative, comprehensive, affordable and accessible health care to our people.
“In line with our innovative and enterprising spirit, we are today unveiling a series of policies, including; The Cross River State Health Policy, the Cross River State Health Development Strategic Plan, The Cross River State Human Resource for Health, the Cross River state Multi Year Operational Plan, the Cross River Tax Shifting Policy and Guidelines on Health Insurance.”
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole praised the state for “blazing the trail” in the health sector in Nigeria.
He admonished the state for the institution of the State Health Insurance Scheme, stating that in Nigeria 70% of resources is from ‘out-of-pocket’ and this is what the state Health Insurance Scheme is going to stop, and therefore contribute to protecting the lives of the people, especially the poor and vulnerable.
On her part, the State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong said the policies unveiled are a result of “deliberate steps to reform the State health system to effectively respond to the health needs of her people and also conform to global best practices.
Dr. Asibong added that the summit aimed at highlighting government’s effort towards changing the paradigm from just developing policies to actually translating them into results.
The two day summit had in attendance, national and state legislators as well as other critical stakeholders in the sector.