Abia Enrolls 4,700 Pensioners in Health Insurance Scheme

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

No fewer than 4,700 pensioners have been enrolled to receive free medical services under the health insurance scheme.

This was one of the offshoots of the enumeration of state pensioners carried out by the present administration in order to resolve the pensioners’ arrears imbroglio.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo, made this known yesterday while briefing the state, Governor Alex Otti, on the activities of her ministry in the past week.

She said the beneficiaries would have access to free medical treatment in both primary and secondary health facilities across the state.

A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Kazie Uko, quoted the health commissioner as saying that not all retirees were enrolled in the scheme.

According to Okoronkwo, only civil servants who retired from service on grade levels not higher than deputy director would benefit from the health insurance coverage.

She informed the governor of the efforts being made to revamp some health facilities in the state, notably the General Hospitals at Amachara, Okpuala Ngwa, Umunnato, and a cottage hospital in Aba.

However, the commissioner regretted that thieves had at different times taken advantage of the lack of security and proper illumination to vandalise the health facilities.

During such break-ins, hoodlums carted away equipment and other valuables meant to serve the health needs of the people.

Okoronkwo stated that she had reached out to some senior government functionaries who assisted in raising security for some of the facilities, citing the General Hospital at Okpuala Ngwa.

Following the submission of the health commissioner, Governor Otti ordered the immediate restoration of the power supply to all government offices and facilities.

He decried the situation where government facilities were left in darkness without electricity, saying such an anomaly should be corrected forthwith.

“If there are bills to be paid, we’ll pay them and get the facilities reconnected. We cannot afford to have government offices and facilities without electricity,” Otti said.

Apart from the provision of electricity, the governor also ordered the boosting of security and proper perimeter fencing of the government health facilities to ward off intruders.

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