Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State says civil servants can now access healthcare services in any medical facilities in the state following the official presentation of Nasarawa State Health Insurance Scheme Identity Cards to them.
The governor made the disclosure in Lafia on Friday at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital Lafia (DASH) while inaugurating the presentation of the identity cards to civil servants in the state.
He was represented by the Deputy Governor, Emmanuel Akabe.
According to Gov. Sule, the leaders of the organised labour had rejected the inclusion of the formal sector in the scheme in 2018 citing none implementation of their promotions as the reason.
He, however, said that it was now history as their demands were since met and enrollment of workers had begun.
Sule used the medium to express gratitude to the organised labour for its understanding and support to ensure the success of the programme.
“The health insurance programme cannot be complete and successful in the state without the involvement of the formal sector.
“Based on the records available, Nasarawa State is one of the leading states in the country as far as Universal Health Coverage is concerned.
“We have already started contributing 0.5 per cent of our consolidated revenue into the basic healthcare provision fund.
“The Federal Government had, in the last quarter, contributed over N500 million in the basic healthcare provision fund for Nasarawa State and we have so far contributed over N145 million into the fund,” Sule added.
The governor, therefore said that the government had concluded an arrangement to commence the payment of its seven per cent contribution to all its employees to complement the three deductions from the civil servants.
On his part, Dr Gaza Gwamna, Executive Secretary, Nasarawa State Health Insurance Agency, said that enrolment into the scheme had started on December 12, 2019, with the governor and his deputy.
He explained that the programme had suffered setbacks due to refusal by labour to be part of it even though the informal sector were captured at that time.
The governor explained that with the acceptance by the leaders of the organised labour to be included, already over 5,000 workers and their dependents were enrolled and can begin accessing healthcare services henceforth.
He added that under the formal sector, the agency was targeting to enroll about 100, 000 beneficiaries in the next one or two months.
The Executive Secretary said that DASH and all the General Hospitals in the state including Primary Healthcare Centres in the 147 electoral wards of the state as well as private medical facilities were ready to attend to those under the scheme.
“After receiving your cards today, civil servants, public servants and political appointees can begin to access healthcare services in any facility across the 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state,” Gwamna added.
In his remarks, Dr Ikrama Hassan, Chief Medical Director of Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital Lafia (DASH) lauded Gov. Sule for the initiative.
He explained that the insurance scheme would go a long way to tackle challenges that were hitherto leading to health complications and even death because of lack of money to access healthcare.
Hassan, therefore, assured the public that DASH was ready to attend to all that chose the facility.
In his Goodwill message, Comrade Yusuf Iya, Chairman, Nasarawa State chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), commended the governor for the initiative aimed at improving the condition of the people.
He pledged the support of the organised labour in the state to the government to ensure the success of the programme.