Health insurance: Bauchi spends N400m, enrolls 53,000 beneficiaries on minimum health services in 16 months

The Bauchi State Contributory Health Care Management Agency (BASHCMA) said it has so far spent the sum of more than 400 million naira on the implementation of the health insurance scheme of State.

minimum package of health care services, primary and secondary components.

The disclosure was made by the Executive Secretary of the BASHCMA, Dr. Mansur Dada, during an interaction with members of a Bauchi-based civil society organization (CSO), the Journalists for Development and the Initiative of Public Health (J4PD) who made an advocacy visit to the Agency.

Mansur Dada said, “So here in Bauchi State, we have the program divided into 3 components, the vulnerable program, the informal program and the formal sector program.”

He explained that “the informal sector program is funded by the Federal Equity Fund, the State Government Equity Fund, the Local Government Equity Fund, and then the Equity Fund for adoption “.

According to him, “As part of the Federal Equity Fund, that’s where the funds for providing basic health care fall, and right now we have started implementing basic health care in the country. ‘Bauchi State, this is our 16th month of implementing basic health care provision fund’

The Executive Secretary of BASHCMA added that “the federal government has allocated money, they have allocated it twice, N1b and we have been able to register over 53,000 registrants and these are spread across the state “.

“It’s in the 20 LGAs and in each ward we have about 155 registrants and in each of the metropolitan wards, because they’re bigger and more populated we have 255 registrants and they get services that cover what this is called the basic minimum package. primary and secondary health care services and we have paid more than N400 million to these primary health care facilities and the program is continuing,” he added.

He further said, “There is also an addition from the state government where we have implemented the ‘Save a Million Lives’ and we are currently implementing the Betfund funded scheme. The LG has not yet started i.e. the Adoption Equity Fund program we have USAID which has sponsored approximately 2000 lives now benefiting from the services across the state this is the vulnerable sector “.

Also according to him, “there is the informal sector which is for those who are not vulnerable and do not work in the organized sector and we have already started and have 124 people who benefit from it, the number is increasing every day. ” .

He however lamented that the formal sector is the one that is a bit difficult saying, “we faced a lot of challenges, we started negotiations since 2019, COVID-19 came and destroyed everything we had done but at the end of 2020 we resumed and we had the first round of negotiations, but at the time of implementation it fell apart”.

Mansur Dada said that “we started another round of negotiations, we recently concluded it in Kano and civil servants are ranked in 3, legislators pay 5% of their consolidated salary, political office holders also pay 5% of their consolidated salary and civil servants who pay 2% of their consolidated salary”.

According to him, “The memo was written after the release through the HoS office and the Governor approved it. From now on the HoS will be communicating with all 90 MDA’s we have in the state we are actually making progress with this part and hopefully immediately all communications will be concluded we will begin registration during deductions begins in November and we hope to begin services in January 2023.”

Apart from the public sector programs, there are also other programs that fall under the formal sector, there is the organized private sector, the private institutions that can enter the insurance, there are the students of higher education institutions and the pensioner program, all of these programs include the state contributory scheme.

Speaking further, he said that “As you know before, the Government of Nigeria whether it be federal, state or local, they are the ones who sponsor or pay for the health services of the citizens.”

“But gradually there has been a change in the situation due to economic deterioration, population increase and so many other factors which have reached a certain stage where it can be said that the government does not only provides about 30% of what you need while the rest 70% or more has to come from our pockets and we used yo pay If you go to the hospital and you get about 30% of what you need but that the rest must come out of our pockets as direct expenses,” he added.

According to him, “So these personal expenses are actually increasing day by day, that’s why the government at the international level, at the national level, at the state level and even at the LGA level are trying their best to see how it can actually reduce these out-of-pocket expenses”.

He said that, “whether it’s that we can maybe get what we want without spending out of pocket immediately at 70% while the rest we can pay out of pocket, so that’s what really led to the MDG 3, after MDG 3 A lot of series of meetings have been held at the national level, we already have NHIA which is the one that looks after all the schemes in Nigeria, this is what led to the formation of the agencies state social insurance.

He went on to point out that, “I think we have it in 34 states and FCT, the only 2 states that have not yet established the program are Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states. In each of the states, the regime is supported by a state assembly law, as in Bauchi State, there was a law before the establishment of the Agency”.

Mansur Dada concluded by saying: ‘Recently in May 2022 there have been a lot of changes to the NHIS such that it adapts to any state contributory social insurance or health schemes and it made it compulsory for everyone as long as you are a Nigerians must have health insurance, so in addition to federal and state laws, these are the 2 laws that support the scheme for all Nigerian citizens”.

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