Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia
Over 50,000 residents of Nasarawa State have so far been enrolled in the Nasarawa State Health Insurance Agency (NASHIA).
Executive Secretary of the NASHIA, Dr. Gaza Gwamna, disclosed this while giving an update of the agency’s programme at a news briefing in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.
However, the NASHIA executive secretary explained that due to delay by the state ministry of finance to commence deduction from salaries and entitlements of civil servants and pensioners of the state to fund the programme, only the informal sector had commenced accessing health care services under the scheme.
THISDAY gathered that the organised labour in the state had recently agreed that monthly deductions of three per cent of workers’ basic salaries and one per cent of pensioners’ benefits should commence without delay and be remitted to the agency to enable these categories of persons access health services courtesy of the state health insurance scheme.
But, the executive secretary noted that those so far enrolled under the informal sector to benefit from the programme were mostly the vulnerable; especially almajiri children, orphans and the aged whose bills had been funded by the state government and private organisations.
Gwamna, while commending the organised labour in the state for keying into the programme, pointed out that civil servants and pensioners would commence accessing health care services under the agency as soon as deductions were made from their wages to fund the programme.
He said: “We enrolled all the orphanages in Nasarawa State. Those children are in the health insurance scheme sponsored by the state government. Because of the good heart of Governor Abdullahi Sule, we did the same thing to al’majiri children.
“As of today, we have enrolled about 51,000 persons, not all of them have had their premium paid. We have some of them whose premium have been paid by the federal government, while others had theirs paid by the state government which is complementing the efforts of the federal government.
“Then we have some of the enrollees whose premium have been paid by some NGOs. People that have their premium paid and can go to hospital and access health services at the moment are about N32,000,” Gwamna maintained.