The Bayelsa State Government has inaugurated a unit to track all health expenditure and projects in the state in order to improve accountability and prevent losses.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Pabara Newton Igwele performed the inauguration of the State Health Care Financing Equity and Investing Unit in the Ministry of Health, Yenagoa.
He said the unit is tasked with the responsibility of developing and reviewing policies, guidelines and strategies for financing Universal Health Coverage.
According to him, they are to mobilize financial and other resources from traditional and innovative sources for effective delivery of health services and management of the national health system.
Dr. Igwele, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Wisdom Sawyer, said the unit is also to ensure healthcare equity among citizens through the provision of safety nets and other social protection mechanisms for the poor, vulnerable groups, women and children.
He noted that the unit will also provide technical support to local government councils on health care financing, equity and investment issues which will lead to effective utilization of funds.
He said they will commence a state health account study, adding that the Technical Working Group of the Unit will soon be constituted, stating that as a result of the unit, health expenditure will be properly tracked and loopholes will be covered.
The Health Commissioner further stated that their terms of reference include to develop a basic healthcare package for the state as well as framework for effective partnership with the private sector.
In her remarks, the Director, Planning Research and Statistics, Mrs. Beatrice Olomiete thanked the Commissioner for making the inauguration a reality.
She also appreciated the Federal Ministry of Health which sent a representative to the inauguration, saying the state will be better equipped to receive more investments and funding from partners.
The event proceeded with the presentation of letters of appointment to members of the new unit who will work with representatives from the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme, the private sector, and community based organizations.