NIGERIA Medical Association, Bayelsa State chapter, yesterday urged the Governor Seriake Dickson-led government to revive the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme. The NMA also urged the governor to take steps to join the National Health Insurance Scheme to achieve universal health insurance cover in the state. The Chairman of NMA in Bayelsa, Dr. Keme Pondei, made the request on Wednesday at the 2016 Physicians’ Week of the state chapter. He promised the NMA’s determination to provide accessible and affordable health care to the people, in spite of the current economic challenges. He assured the public that they (doctors) were bound by the Hippocratic Oath to provide accessible and affordable lifesaving medical services to the society. He said the Physicians’ Week is a period when medical practitioner’s gather together to reassess the state of health care. He said the doctors evaluated the effects on the population and proffered appropriate solutions to improve health care delivery. Pondei said, “We also during this Week, provided free healthcare to rural dwellers in the form of medical outreach. “Despite the prevailing economic situation in the country, we carried out a medical outreach at Agbobiri and Okordia communities of Yenagoa Local Government Area. “The health care indices for the country are really not what they should be.” He said the NMA is nonpartisan and devoted to the welfare of every Nigerian. The NMA chairman stated, “We are partners in progress with the government and welcome the hand of friendship the current administration in Bayelsa has offered us. “We appreciate the employment of 20 doctors at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, facilitation of accreditation for the Obstetrics and gynaecology department. “We pray that as partners in progress, the government and the NMA will partner to review the health care delivery system in the state. “There is a need to urgently pass the State Primary Health Care Development Agency bill that is believed to be before the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. “We want to urge the state government to revive the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme while steps should be taken to join the National Health Insurance Scheme to achieve universal health insurance cover in the state.” Pondei, who urged the government to urgently appoint a commissioner for health, rationalised that health system functioned more effectively with a commissioner facilitating the coordination of the ministry.