Bayelsa Assembly probes state’s health insurance scheme

Sat, Feb 3, 2024
By editor


THE Bayelsa House of Assembly on Friday commenced probe of activities of the Ministry of Health, Bayelsa State Health Insurance Scheme (BHIS) and its Service Providers over alleged inefficiency.

The Assembly alleged that the BHIS, inaugurated in July, 2013 as a Social Security Programme designed by the state government, was witnessing lackluster performance and issuance of fake drugs to beneficiaries.

At the legislative session, the members passed a one-point resolution to set up Ad hoc Committee to investigate the activities of the BHIS.

In the motion of urgent Public Importance, Hon. Daniel Charles (Brass Constituency 1) informed the House that the BHIS was designed by the state government, where health care services of enrollees are paid for from the common pool of funds contributed by the beneficiaries.

Charles alleged that in spite of the fact that both the beneficiaries and other contributors like the state government were doing their best to ensure the efficiency of the scheme; the service providers were grossly under-performing.

He also informed the House that apart from failing to provide the necessary care needed by beneficiaries of the scheme; service providers usually dismiss some of them.

He argued that they were not qualified to be provided with secondary and tertiary treatments that include minor surgical procedures.

Hon. Tare Porri (Ekeremor 1), Hon. Douglas Sampson-Awudulu (Nembe 3), Hon. Oyinke Godbless (Sagbama 1) and Hon Ebizi Rosemary (Sagbama 3) also spoke in support of the motion.

They confirmed that some of their constituents had been victims of the activities of these service providers who dispense inferior drugs to beneficiaries not minding the health implications.

In their separate contributions, Hon. Ben Victor Selekaiye (Southern Ijaw 4), Hon. Living Mitin (Ekeremor 2) and Rt. Hon. Monday-Bubou Edwin Obolo (Southern Ijaw 2) agreed that the scheme was initiated with the best of intentions for the health needs of the people.

They however said that allowing the service providers to continue the way they were going would amount to erasing all the gains of the programme.

They, nevertheless, added that service providers would be within their bounds to express their fears and the challenges they have been facing.

“So that if there is the need for an upward review of what they get from the government for each beneficiary, the issues can be looked into,” they said.

The members of the Adhoc Committee are Hon. Charles Daniel, Chairman, Rt Hon. Monday-Bubou Edwin Obolo, Hon.George-Braah Oteigbanyo, Hon. (Dr) Oyinke Godbless and Hon. Cockeye Brown Ebizi Rosemary

The Secretary of the House Committee on Health will serve as the Clerk of the Committee.

The Committee is expected to report back to the House in three weeks. (NAN)


-February 3, 2024 @ 6:23 GMT|