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Health insurance agency to commence operation with 14,000 beneficiaries in Niger

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Niger State Contributory Health Agency (NGSCHA) has disclosed that necessary machinery has been put in place for the take-off of its operations with over 14, 000 beneficiaries tomorrow.

Executive Secretary of the Agency, Dr. Mohammed Usman, who stated this in Minna, explained that only 15 per cent residents of Niger State are aware of health insurance, adding that, out of that figure, only 5 per cent have keyed into State or National Health Insurance Scheme.

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Usman noted that 1.8 million people in the state could not afford to pay for health insurance.

According to him, the state government built hospitals and clinics, but medical workers in those facilities were not enough to provide healthcare to residents. He added that the majority of the people have little or no financial means to access healthcare, while those that have the means are seeking medical attention with pains.

The executive secretary said the state government established the agency to ensure residents of the state have access to universal basic healthcare services anywhere they reside.

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Usman said the state civil servants are expected to contribute 2.5 per cent from their basic salary, which the state government will augment toward the scheme.

He said each worker, his or her spouse, and four children below the age of 18 years will benefit under the scheme.

Also, under the scheme, those in the informal sector, which comprises traders, artisans, farmers, market women and other artisans, are expected to pay N7,200 and is subject to renewal every year.

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