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Cross River targets N1 bn monthly for health insurance scheme

By Anietie Akpan, Calabar and Akin Alofetekun, Minna
15 September 2016   |   2:50 am
Cross River State government’s free “Health Insurance Scheme” programme otherwise known as “Ayade Cares” is expected to make about N1 billion monthly.
Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade

Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade

Niger govt urged to patronise NHIS programmes
Cross River State government’s free “Health Insurance Scheme” programme otherwise known as “Ayade Cares” is expected to make about N1 billion monthly.

The State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade had last week signed into law the free health insurance scheme specifically targeting the less privileged in the state as the “Ayade Cares” scheme “is a brother lending a hand to another brother with all of us standing for all of us, a policy for the people”.

Briefing some newsmen in Calabar on the health insurance scheme, the Director General of the State’s Primary Health Care, Dr. Betta Edu said, “the target from all the sources is that every month at least we should make N1 billion health care ment, the premium from people, international donor agencies and even gifts from individuals and philanthropic organisations. The day the law was signed we were able to raise N50 million.”

She explained that the N1, 000, which everybody is paying not be able to provide that level of healthcare government is thinking about as “government will equally be investing money into the healthcare insurance to make it work. Donor agencies, the World Bank will equally be expected to put in some financing to make it work. It is going to be collaboration between lots of stakeholders; and as such transparency, accountability remains the watchword.

“The World Bank will not want to put their money into an insurance that is a fraud and they have criteria that this insurance must go through and fit in.”

Meanwhile, the Niger State Coordinator of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Adamu Abdullahi, has charged the Niger state government to set up its State Social Health Insurance Program on a legal framework for purpose of sustainability and continuity.

Abdullahi made the appeal in an interview with our correspondent in Minna, saying that the programme was designed for State governments to take advantage of providing adequate and affordable health care for its workforce.

He said that the New Executive Secretary/CEO of NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf was determined to achieve Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians within the possible time with the current drive to change the face of the scheme to the benefit of the nation.

The coordinator emphasized that the scheme has begun to roll out many activities in the state, which include: the Voluntary Contributory Social Health Insurance Programme (VCSHIP), where individuals pay a premium by purchasing voucher card at N15, 000 per annum and will enjoy all the benefits like in a formal sector.