Okowanomics Fact Sheet No. 3, July-B 2022
Okowanomics Scorecard Series is a semi-monthly bulletin of evidence-based “Fact Sheets” showing Governor Okowa’s spectacular achievements in the social, infrastructural and economic development of Delta State. The Scorecard Series is a “book of chronicles” of Governor Okowa’s legacies and footprints in the geopolitical entity of Delta State.
Okowanonics is the brand identity of Governor Okowa’s political ingenuity, developmental philosophy and governance ideology defined by his people-centred approach, economic prudence and social intelligence. Underlying Okowanomics is Governor Okowa’s exceptional assortment of personality and character virtues notably critical thinking, clear foresight, sound planning, effective execution, clever coordination, humility, self- discipline, people skills and executive intelligence. These sterling qualities and attributes are manifest in the excellent leadership and exemplary governance of Delta State from 29th of May 2015 to date.
This edition [Okowanomics Fact Sheet No. 3] spotlights the transformational achievements in the healthcare system in Delta State. Today, the healthcare system in Delta State has changed for the better, in terms of availability and affordability of services as well as efficiency and constancy of service delivery. This milestone turnaround of the healthcare system is the direct result of His Excellency, the Governor’s vision, sound planning and faithful implementation of the contributory health insurance policy and strategy for universal health coverage.
FOUNDATION OF THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM TURNAROUND
Driven by his vision to enthrone a first-rate healthcare system aimed at universal health coverage, His Excellency, the Governor, enunciated the policy of “Health for All Deltans” to effectively domesticate the national and international goals of universal health coverage. His vision for universal health coverage predates his election and assumption of office as Governor of Delta State on 29th May 2015. As Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and specifically Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, he championed national legislative action leading to enactment of Nigeria’s National Health Act 2014 – the legal framework for the regulation, development and management of national health system.
Not surprisingly therefore, few months into his first tenure, Governor Okowa worked out and submitted an Executive Bill to the Delta State House of Assembly, for the establishment of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme. The legislative process resulted in the landmark enactment of Delta State Contributory Health Commission Law in February 2016. Deriving from this legal framework, His Excellency constituted the Delta State Contributory Health Commission [DSCHC] to run the Delta State Contributory Health Scheme [DSCHS]. Following the inauguration of DSCHC on 4th February 2016, the DSCHS commenced service delivery on 1st January 2017.
EVIDENCE OF THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM TURNAROUND
From “ground zero”, Delta State Contributory Health Scheme is covering a gigantic 1,169,470 persons as of June 2022. The enrollees comprise equity health plan (pregnant women, children under 5 & elderly) – 987,988, formal health plan (principal enrollees & dependents) – 163,828 and informal health plan (artisans, market women, students etc) – 17,654.
The premium rates under the contributory health insurance scheme is (i) informal health plan –
N7,000 per annum (ii) formal health plan: 1.75% contribution from the gross salary of the employee and a counterpart 1.75% contribution from the employer and (iii) equity plan [involving pregnant women, children under 5] – N7000/person/annum.
The present coverage translates to 20% of the state’s estimated population of 6,000,000, compared to 0% prior to Okowanomics era. Under the scheme, so far, the total number of accredited public and private hospitals is 510.
Three service delivery innovations are worth mentioning.
I. “Access to Finance” Program in which the Bank of Industry, partnering with DSCHC provides single-digit loans to enable healthcare providers establish accredited healthcare facilities in remote and hard to reach communities to ensure no one is left behind in access to healthcare service delivery.
II. The service delivery processes are digitalized whereby DSCHC operations has been listed and designated as compliant with the National Data Protection Regulations (NDPR) requirement of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
III. The health services benefit package has been recognized as a standardized health insurance benefit package and adopted as the national minimum benefit health package in Nigeria.
On the strengths of its phenomenal growth in coverage and innovative service delivery mechanisms, Delta State Contributory Health Scheme has earned national and international recognition/awards. To mention a few, in 2018, World Bank Nigeria awarded Delta State for having the most people covered under its health insurance scheme with focus on the poor and vulnerable population. Earlier, in 2017, the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award recognized Delta State as Healthcare Programme of the Year 2017.
JOB CREATION OUTCOMES OF THE HEALTH SCHEME
In addition to its impacts on the healthcare system in Delta State, the contributory health scheme has created more than 1,500 direct jobs and more than 550 indirect jobs along the health services value chain [field registration/enrollment agents, healthcare service personnel, health insurance service personnel and others].
LESSONS FOR OTHER STATES AND THE NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM
As the pacesetter state-level contributory health insurance programme with tested service delivery innovations, Delta State Contributory Health Scheme is the role model for other states.
In all, the success story of Okowanomics health plan in Delta State is worthy of emulation by other states and in fact, the entire national health system. The emulation should not be a “copy and paste” approach, rather it should be based on adequate review and understanding of the underlying success factors, throughout the conception, planning, implementation, documentation and supervision of the scheme.
The provision of data and information by Delta State Contributory Health Commission [DSCHC] for this edition of Okowanomics Fact Sheet is duly acknowledged and appreciated.
The Series is developed and published by Delta State Job & Wealth Creation Bureau, using verified information and data from the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).