Home Health Committee tasks wealthy individuals, politicians to assist the poor in health insurance

Committee tasks wealthy individuals, politicians to assist the poor in health insurance

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By PHILIP YATAI

Kaduna- The Kaduna State branch of Ward Development Committees (WDCs), on Friday urged wealthy individuals and politicians to pay health insurance premium on behalf of the poor and the vulnerable.

WDCs were set up in each political ward in the country to address issues of education, health, water and sanitation.

They are used as channels by donor agencies to assist in development projects in communities.

Chairman of the Kaduna State branch, Alhaji Balarabe Idris-Jaji, commended the Federal Government for facilitating the enrolment of 45,529 poor and vulnerable for free healthcare services in the state.

The Federal Government did this through the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF).

Idris-Jaji also commended the Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Scheme (KADCHMA) for enrolling 79,329 poor and vulnerable to access free healthcare services in the state’s one per cent consolidated revenue.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Idris-Jaji argued, however, that governments could not do it alone considering the huge number of poor and vulnerable in the state in need of basic healthcare.

He called on rich individuals and groups in the state to support governments’ efforts by paying the insurance premium of N10,650 per individual in a year and N57,990 per family – husband, wife and four children below 18 years.

The Chairman also called on politicians, particularly parliamentarians to pay the annual premium to certain number of poor and vulnerable in their communities as part of their constituency projects.

This, according to him, will go a long way in assisting the state government in its efforts to achieve universal health coverage.

He said that the WDCs had been sensitising and mobilising community members on the importance of going to health facilities for medical services.

“While many residents have developed interest in going to the hospital to access life-saving basic services, most of the poor cannot afford it.

“The health insurance scheme was introduced to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure on health services, but for the poorest of the poor, it is still not affordable.

“This is why the rich and politicians should come to the rescue by standing in the gap for the poor and the vulnerable to be able to access needed health services critical to their survival,’’ Idris-Jaji told NAN.

He said that the WDCs would continue to sensitise and mobilise the public to increase demand for healthcare services, particularly in rural communities.

Director-General, KADCHMA, Mr Abubakar Hassan, had once said that it had enrolled a total of 514, 265 into the state’s health insurance scheme.

Hassan said during an engagement with media that 382,593 were enrolled in the formal sector; 3,713 in the informal sector; 986 in the Tertiary Students Health Insurance Programme and 2,115 in the pensioners scheme.

He said that the scheme was designed to provide access to quality, affordable, equitable healthcare services for all residents of the state without financial risk.

According to him, the goal is to achieve universal health coverage, improve the poor health indices in the state and reduce out-of-pocket expenditure for health services. (NAN)

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