Some mothers in Enugu State, Thursday, expressed joy over the enrolment of the state into the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
According to them, with good management of the scheme, residents of the state would begin to enjoy affordable and quality healthcare services.
Mrs Clara Onah, from Nkanu, told our correspondent that, “When I heard that it is free for pregnant women and children below five years old, I became very much interested. I have gone for data capture and already started enjoying the facilities because I am an expectant mother.”
Mrs Charity Mgbo told THE WHISTLER at Mgbowo that, “I’ll enrol all my family members. You can imagine how much it costs to treat malaria alone in a year. But with N12, 000 for adults, one can access treatment for one year free. It is the best we can have for now. I thank Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for this development.”
Dr Edith Okolo, executive secretary, Enugu State Agency for Universal Health Coverage, during the flag-off, said the agency was collaborating with other agencies to bring the benefits of the scheme to the people. She said, “Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is eager to see that Ndi Enugu benefit from the Basic Minimum Package of Healthcare Services, which informed his provision of all the needed support for the enrolment.
“If you go to a clinic to see a doctor, you will spend at least N2, 000. But with this scheme, with N1, 000 monthly contribution, this scheme will give one access to all the health care packages. There is nothing to lose. It is a win-win for everybody: for the state and the residents. The N1, 000 monthly pay takes care of even surgeries. Health insurance gets better with volumes. If everybody in Enugu State comes on board, we shall have the capacity to carry out all the services we offer. Therefore, we are telling Enugu residents to go to their closest primary health care centres and get enrolled. They will collect their data. On our part, we go to these centres after the enrolment, and capture the data. After that, we issue them with ID cards, and then they can access the services. There are a few exclusions, but it covers what the average people suffer: high blood pressure, diabetes, malaria, infections, surgeries, accidents, etc.”
The executive secretary/CEO of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Mohammed Nasir Sambo, during the launch on Monday, said, “The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a top priority on the global health agenda, as well as an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which many nations, including Nigeria, are pursuing vigorously for the benefit of the citizens.
“This explains why the attainment of UHC is a leading component of the Health Sector Next Level Agenda of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to unlock the full potentials of all Nigerians.”
He added that, “NHIS currently delivers stewardship and regulatory roles in the health insurance ecosystem, including developmental and coordination of policies and programmes. The scheme has also developed and begun the implementation of a ten-year strategic plan to facilitate the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage by 2030.”
THE WHISTLER recalls that Nigeria signed the National Health Act into law in 2014 in response to the poor health outcomes in the country. With the Act, the NHIS is expected to receive fifty percent of the Basic Minimum Package of Healthcare Services for the purchase of care for enrolees under this arrangement.