From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
In furtherance of his concerted efforts to ensure that all residents of Enugu State have access to quality and affordable healthcare services, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, yesterday, inaugurated the newly constituted Governing Board of the State Agency for Universal Health Coverage (ENSA-UHC), headed by Dr. Robsam Ohayi.
The Enugu State Universal Health Coverage Agency was created in 2018 pursuant to the State Health Sector Reform Law of 2017, which made provisions for the creation of an agency to promote, regulate, supervise and ensure the effective administration of a universal health coverage scheme for residents of the state.
Inaugurating the board, Gov. Ugwuanyi, represented by his deputy, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, stated that the agency “guided by extant central and subnational organic laws and kindred enactments” will formulate and implement policies that will not only ensure residents’ access to quality and affordable healthcare delivery but also protect individuals and families from the hardships occasioned most times by huge medical bills.
Mrs. Ezeilo disclosed that the new board of ENSA-UHC was inaugurated “to ensure that the entire scheme leverages on the expertise, experience, integrity, reputation, excellent governance pedigree and consensus orientation of the members in active collaboration and synergy with the agency’s executive management, in order to attain the best standards of health insurance service, for the overall benefit of our people.”
The deputy governor stated that the board will therefore formulate broad policies for the implementation and penetration of the universal health coverage scheme in the state; exercise supervision and oversight functions on the executive management and staff of the agency; supervise implementation of the universal health coverage scheme in the state; and provide supervisory leadership to the executive management leveraging on key relevant contacts and affiliations to attract needed resources and technical assistance to the agency.
Other terms of reference are to work with the executive management and the supervising ministry (Health) and other stakeholders to implement the provisions of the agency’s establishment enactment and other related laws, and carry out other appropriate duties as may be directed from time to time by the supervising ministry or the state government.
While noting that the supervisory role of the board is critical to the successful implementation of the scheme, the state government stressed that “the board must aim at establishing and entrenching an excellent governance regime for the agency in line with its terms of reference.”
Members of the board also include Dr. Ikechukwu E. Obi (Commissioner for Health); Emeka Ede (member representing Enugu East zone); Dr. Nnabuchi Okwudili Evermtus (Enugu North zone); Dr. Jovita Ike Okafor (Enugu West zone); Barr. Chukwurah Genevieve Ifeoma (State Economic Planning Commission); and Dr. J.O.T. Onyia (Nigeria Medical Association).
Others are Comrade (Mrs.) Ifeyinwa P. Ugwu (Nigeria Labour Congress); Samuel Mike Chukwudi (Nigeria Employers Consultative Association); Dr. Daniel Ogbuabor (Nigeria Health Economics Association); and Mrs. A. Ochor (National Health Insurance Scheme).
In his response, the board’s chairman, Dr. Ohayi, expressed gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi for the opportunity given them to serve the state “in this onerous task” and pledged that they will discharge their duties diligently to the expectation of the governor and the general public.