By Rabiu Sani
Maiduguri – Dr. Abba Sale, Executive Secretary of Borno State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (BOSCHMA), says the agency has commenced preparations to enroll state and local government workers into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Sale told newsmen on Monday in Maiduguri that the agency had adopted effective modalities to facilitate smooth conduct of the enrollment exercise.
The executive secretary said other workers in the private sector, vulnerable and other members of the society would be enrolled in the scheme, which was designed to enhance access to quality healthcare services by the enrollees.
He said that the agency would embark on advocacy and awareness creation activities to mobilise participation in the scheme.
“Health services should be made available, affordable and accessible to the people.
“Health is a right as far as this concept is concerned, therefore, the government will create an enabling environment for the healthcare system to thrive, let the rich and the poor access equitable services.
“Federal civil servants are the only people accessing healthcare through NHIS in the state, while their counterparts at state levels are not enjoying.
“With the inception of the agency, every civil servant would be enrolled within a short time to enable them access the services.
“The beneficiaries are the people of the state; one of the catastrophes that people go through is what we call ‘out of pocket healthcare financing’, and this is what the agency is doing to bring succour to the people, ” he said.
According to him, statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that 90 per cent of the people in the state were accessing healthcare services through pocket financing.
Sale explained that the National Basic Healthcare Provision Fund stipulated that funds that accrued to the scheme would be distributed in three folds.
This he said include 50 percent to NHIS, 45 per cent to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and five percent to Federal Ministry of Health to fund the National Centre for Disease Control, and other emergency services.
“Right now we are battling with emergency of Lassa fever and such fund would be utilised from the federal government down to the states, in order to curtail the epidemic,” he added.
While calling for the support of the people, Sale reiterated commitment to ensure transparency, accountability and probity in the management of the agency.
Also commenting, Alhaji Sani Aliyu, the Agency’s Board Chairman, lauded Gov. Babagana Zulum for establishing the agency and said it would transform healthcare delivery in the state.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the BOSCHMA Board was inaugurated by the governor on Jan. 24.