by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Director-General Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA), Dr. Fabong Jemchang Yildam, has revealed that, over 74 percent of residents in Plateau State are predominantly self-employed.
He said, out-of-pocket is the commonest means of healthcare financing in the state, with about 97 percent poor health seeking behiavours due to poverty, which is less than half of 70 percent of the residents that visit a health facility.
The Director-General was speaking at a Quarterly Chat with Media in Jos recently, when he said, “It could be recalled that PLASCHEMA was established to ensure that every resident of Plateau State has equitable access to quality and affordable healthcare service when the need arises.
“Also, it is to ensure access to quality healthcare and financial protection for all residents of the state using a healthcare financing mechanism structured through a mandatory pooling of cost-and-risk, with fair utilization of all available resources, by ensuring public and private sector participation that leads to an equitable distribution of healthcare resources across the state for an efficient healthcare service delivery.”
According to him, 3,981 households were interviewed with high willingness to participate and high burden of chronic disease of 58.72 percent.
He said, 7 out of 10 Plateau residents suffer catastrophic out-of-pocket expenditure, while appreciable ANC is 64 percent and immunization 49 percent access DPT3, amongst U-5.
He stressed that, “This cannot be achieved without the media, because the media is a critical mass of well-placed stakeholders, and it’s possible to communicate government policies to the people.
Dr. Yildam stated that, “Journalists are expected to report on health issues from a critical point of view, with a focus on UHC and advocacy for UHC to motivate and capacitate, while they are to focus on aspect of health issues by using a ‘health system lens,’ while reporting.
“The Media also helps in raising awareness among the population about holding government to account by driving agendas for improving access to healthcare, improving and revitalizing existing healthcare facilities instead of building new ones, demanding more health-for-money, and more money-for-health.”
He said, there are some identified issues on UHC, healthcare financing and national health accounts, as well as existing health insurances models and challenges and opportunities for their implementation.
The DG noted that, Media raises awareness generally, among specific groups of stakeholders, at the policy and practitioner levels about the core concept of UHC and its different components.
He observed that, the Media also facilitates the exchange of views, concerns, experiences, and learning among stakeholders in the health insurance ecosystem, and paves ways for advocacy towards achieving UHC services as a platform for achieving behavioral modifications and change, but also a driver for setting stakeholders.