Health Insurance Vital for Workers Productivity, Says NIMASA

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Martins Ifijeh

The Head, Health Service Unit of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Anslem Nwanze, has said that health insurance is vital to workers’ productivity.

Nwanze, who spoke recently at the Annual Conference of the Society of Occupational and Environmental Health Physicians of Nigeria (SOEHPON) 2019 held in Lagos recently, said the national health insurance service of the United Kingdom has made it clear that apart from the government trying to assist workers to manage their health, everyone has a personal responsibility to take care of their health.

“So, individuals and organisations are urged to also have a personal responsibility to key into health insurance,” he said.

The National President, Society of Occupational and Environmental Health Physicians of Nigeria (SOEHPON), Dr. Effiem Jackson Abbah explained that the conference was a platform to provide up-to-date clinical skills, exchange ideas, network and collaborate with all stakeholders in occupational health.

Abbah also said it was aimed at upgrading the techniques in achieving the goal of health insurance for workers.

The SOEHPON president added that the physicians that were tasked specifically with the protection of workers at workplace do so by looking out for hazards inherent in their work environment.

She said: “We look at all the hazards that are inherent in the work that the individual has to perform. Our work is to make sure that they are safe when they are performing the work and the environment in which they are called to perform the work is also safe.”

Abbah who further said that they partner and work with government agencies, regulators, and different industries, also recommended that it is a good thing to ensure workers’ safety.

With regards to workers, she said Nigeria as a country recognises the importance of her employers and have insurance programme for workers.

“Every employer in Nigeria is expected and highly encouraged to register with the Nigeria Social Industrial Trust Fund (NSITF) and they would remit a premium, but that premium is also used to take care of workers who are either injured or who may, die in the cause of their work and that is the key learning from this year’s conference,” she advised.