…Promises affordable universal healthcare
By Ike Uchechukwu Calabar
The Cross River State Government has kick-started it’s a health insurance scheme for vulnerable citizens residing in the state.
Gov Ayade, who flagged off the enrolment at the U. J. Esuene Stadium on Tuesday in Calabar expressed gratitude to Professor Mohammed Sambo, the Executive Secretary of Nigeria’s National Health Insurance Scheme for his contributions to the development of the affordable healthcare programme.
He said the exercise signalled an end to the pains and sufferings of the vulnerable while assuring CrossRiverians that the scheme would be affordable.
He, therefore, charged the Cross River state Health Insurance Agency, CRSHIA, “to cater to the vulnerable particularly in terms of their healthcare because you must be people-centred
Gov Ayade urged the citizenry and corporate organisations to key into the scheme, stressing that the goal of his administration was to take healthcare to all parts of the state, including the hard to reach areas where drones would be used to distribute drugs.
“His words:” As a government, I am conscious of the fact that we have 196 wards. I have a challenge of providing 196 vehicles that will be responsible for the management, movement of men and materials across each ward to ensure that anybody who is sick will have access to the primary health care centre.
“I, therefore, call on all public-spirited individuals and corporate organisations to please come to the aid of Cross River, to use Cross River as a model where even the poor, those who have zero income have insurance”, Ayade said
Speaking further, he said with the enrollment into the health insurance scheme with just N1000, the people of the state can now access quality health care.
“These insurance programmes are geared towards those who have no income. So for you to be a zero income earner and still have medical attention that can attract the cost of 5 million or 10 million or above, shows the commitment, the will, and the might of kindness of our administration.
“I call on every single resident in Cross River to enrol into the scheme. Go to our primary health care agency or to our main ministry and register,“ he said.
On his part, Director-General of CRSHIA, Sir Godwin Iyala commended the governor for his foresight and health-friendly policies describing the commencement of the enrollment as “yet another historic milestone in His Excellency’s quest for good health for our people.”
Iyala assured that CRSHIA’s would be embarking on an aggressive enrollment drive to see that all Cross Riverians are captured in the scheme.
Earlier in his speech, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Professor Muhammed Nasir Sambo commended the Cross River state government for keying into the NHIS scheme saying the state could now benefit from the grant available to states that have commenced the enrollment.
“We are pleased to report that the scheme has commenced implementation of this statutory assignment with the disbursement of #6.5billion naira to 15 states and the FCT, which fulfilled the requirements for inclusion.
“I am happy to note that Cross River State, having successfully met the conditions, is today flagging off the commencement of enrollment, which opens a window of succour and new possibilities for the people of this great state”, the NHIS boss said.
Governor Ayade has earlier commissioned a new office for the Cross River Health Insurance Scheme located in State Housing, Calabar.