Ogun State Government on Monday began the process of offering free surgery to indigents in the state as part of plans to help cushion the effects of the prevailing harsh economy

The Executive Secretary of Ogun State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Afolabi Dosunmu, at the flag-off of the registration for the intervention held at the State Hospital, Ijaye, Abeokuta, said the intervention was a directive given by Governor Dapo Abiodun to provide succour to the people at this difficult time.

Dosunmu said hospitals in the state were ready to carry out the directive of the governor.

“The modalities are very simple as long as you are a resident of the state, as long as you have one surgical need or the other, you are free to walk into any of our state or general hospitals and enroll on the insurance scheme.

“The doctors there will assess you if it is a case that is ready for surgery and once all other perimeters have been concluded, we will get the surgery done,” he said.

He added that those whose cases are not ready for immediate surgery, would be enrolled for them to have access to the intervention when they are ready.

“Someone can have, for example, a cataract, and the cataract is not yet matured. We will still enrol the person. We will give the person a date for when the cataract is going to mature.

“For example, if you want to remove fibroid when you see the doctor and the doctor says your electrolyte is a bit high or your blood pressure is a little bit high, it needs to be controlled before you can be taken in for surgery,” he explained.

The Executive Secretary noted that surgery operations would start on Tuesday as there were a lot of cases that needed urgent attention.

“We have a matching mandate from the governor for us to enrol 70,000 people and it is broken down to 20,000 pregnant women till they deliver even if the delivery is through cesarean section. The child is delivered, in the first six months, we will take care of its medical needs.

“We have also been asked to enrol 20,000 market women and 30,000 poor people in the state. Among the 70,000, any other person in the state that needs surgery, they have to come down and get their surgery done,” he added.

He lauded the state governor for impacting directly on the lives of the people saying, “Everything is free from the moment they walk in and get enrolled, screened and do tests as well as the surgery and even after surgery.”

Also speaking, Mrs. Olusola Akintola, a retired secondary school principal, commended Abiodun for the programme, saying it would help the less privileged take care of their medical bills while Mr Semiu Koleosho, said he enrolled in the programme to enable his son to benefit from the free surgery.