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Anambra to recruit more health workers – ASHIA boss 

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SPECIAL Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Health and Executive Secretary of Anambra State Health Insurance Agency(ASHIA), Simeon Beluonwu Onyemaechi, has said that  government is to employ more health workers to beef up personnel in the sector. 

Dr. Onyemaechi stated this during an exclusive interview with our correspondent in his office at Awka. 

He said Anambra State was not insulated from the mass exodus of healthcare personnel to other climes in search of greener pastures which he said COVID-19 pandemic revealed but to stop such mass exit of health human resource in Anambra,  Governor Willie Obiano, according to him, is one of the governors who approved 100% Consolidated Medical Salary Scheme (CONMESS) to be paid medical doctors to boost their morale. 

He also disclosed that Governor Obiano had set up a committee to recruit more healthcare workers into the system to replace those who have left the state in pursuit of greener pastures, pointing out that it was absolutely wrong for anyone to make blanket statements purporting failure of the healthcare system in Anambra.

Onyemaechi, who maintained that the healthcare system is governed by six building block, noted that the health sector is made up of both private and public sectors respectively , adding that to make uncharitable comments about the efforts of Governor Obiano to reposition the health sector was most unbecoming. 

The ASHIA boss further disclosed that before the advent of the incumbent governor, there was no Primary Healthcare Development Agency, there was no accreditation to graduate medical students at Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, adding that no student had ever gone to National Youth Service Corps from Anambra State Health Technology, Obosi, but Governor Obiano did all of them and many more to tackle issues of human resources for health. 

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Onyemaechi, who functions as the Chairman, Governing Council, Anambra State College of Health Technology, Obosi,  told our correspondent that the National Health Insurance Administration Bill at National Assembly captured the Adoption Model of the Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme as one of the best practices to getting informal persons to have health insurance schemes.

Onyemaechi also said Anambra State pioneered mobile health insurance and receiving accolades for how it tackled COVID-19 disease, and that anyone trying to discredit the health sector under the incumbent governor was only being partisan and economical with the truth. 

According to him, the federal government only recently started contemplating the idea of building oxygen plants across the country, when Anambra State had built a healthcare oxygen plant in the state teaching hospital one year before the advent of COVID-19 pandemic. 

  He was equally of the opinion that Anambra State pioneered Keke ambulance scheme for all the primary healthcare centres in the state which he said other states have emulated and replicated as cost effective ways of referrals in both primary, secondary or tertiary healthcare facilities. 

The executive secretary of the state health insurance agency noted that Anambra was the first state in the federation  to start accessing Basic Healthcare Provision Fund Services because the state qualified with having one functional primary healthcare facility in each of the 326 wards and also got accreditation for 330 facilities to be used for basic healthcare provision find in Anambra State.

He  also stated that the governor-elect, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo had stated on several fora that under his regime, the healthcare system in Anambra will be revitalised through public-private partnership arrangements, especially as it concerns how to strengthen the state health insurance agency for greater efficiency. 

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