By Jennifer Aladetona
SUCCOUR came the way of the communities in Idemili LGA, Anambra state and its environs recently as a partnership to provide qualitative and affordable healthcare at Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital was signed between Avon Healthcare Ltd (Avon HMO) Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCo.
Speaking on the partnership, Adesimbo Ukiri, MD/CEO, Avon HMO said “When we met with the key leaders, it was clear that the health of their community was paramount and non-negotiable. This community-based health insurance plan provides an ideal opportunity for the people of Idemili to take control of their health.
“At Avon HMO, we empower people to live healthier, fuller lives so we were very happyto collaborate and developa Health Plan that adequately catered to the specific health needs of this community at an affordable cost”.
The Idemili Community Health Insurance Plan kicked off earlier this year and is fast gaining traction. Following subscription, members are able to enjoy access to primary health services and selected secondary health services at the recently refurbished Iyi-Enu Hospital, the sole designated healthcare Provider.
Free from the burden of out-of-pocket payment, all the member has to do to access care is simply present their ID card at the Hospital.
The Iyi-Enu Hospital lies in the heart of the community and was refurbished by SNEPCo in 2014. Ukiri commended SNEPCo for improving quality and efficiency of health service delivery in the area.
Reverend Nwoye,a cleric at St Luke’s Church, Idemili has a health plan for his entire family. He said subscription had made accessing care easy,convenientand affordable.
“No one I have spoken to has complained about paying the premium as they know that if they fall sick, even once in a year, the money they will spendon treatment and drugs at the hospital will be much more.” Nwoye who actively recommends subscription to his community further added that even though people may not regularly require medical attention, no one knows what tomorrow may bring.
“No one prays for illness but it happens. Keep paying your premium and be covered and if you don’t fall sick, then we thank God”.
Mrs NnekaUbidispoke of her satisfaction with the plan. “The money is not too much considering the services that are rendered”, she said. An unexpected advantage of being registered with the Iyi-Enu Hospital is that members will be aware ofany public health outreach or preventative initiatives run by the Hospital. This makes it more likely that they will be able to participate.”
The Community Health Plan represents a continued expansion of Avon’s suite of Health Plans.
“This shows that Avon HMO is able to offer not only its own private Health Plans, but also the full array of plans tocommunities and governments across all states and regions”, said Ukiri.
She said feedback from the Plan revealed that impact was immediate and positive, while acknowledging that the lessons learned from the successes and challenges of the Idemili Community Health Plan would spur discussion on how to take universal health coverage to the next level.