Health insurance: Pharmacist advocates usage of subsidy palliatives to enroll vulnerable Nigerians

Samuel Luka, Bauchi

The Health Financing Advisor of USAID’s Integrated Health Program (USAID IHP), Pharmacist Khalid Kasimu has called on the Bauchi state government to use part of the fuel subsidy removal palliatives allocated by the federal government and enroll vulnerable members of the society into the state’s health insurance scheme.

Bauchi is currently implementing health insurance scheme under the Bauchi State Health Contributory Management Agency (BASHCMA).

Pharmacist Kasimu who made the call during a one-day media quarterly meeting of Journalists for Public Health Development and Initiative (J4PD) at the Hazibal Hotel Bauchi on Thursday said giving only rice and some items to the vulnerable people will only take them one or two days.

“The palliative for fuel subsidy removal allocated to each state has been published. What we are advocating for Bauchi state is that they can do things differently”, he said.

Pharmacist Kasimu while reasoning that the issue of healthcare consumes most of the incomes of the vulnerable people, advised that they should be given the priority attention.

He added; “once you are able to enroll them they will have access to quality healthcare. Use twelve thousand Naira per individual to register them on the contributory health care scheme in the state”.

Pharmacist Kasimu further explained, by enrolling them, they will have the privilege to access quality healthcare for a whole year which will reduce the effect of health care expenditure that is pushing them into poverty.

The Health Financing Advisor who pointed out that the vulnerable people are the worst affected by the fuel subsidy removal among Nigerians, said they currently pay more for everything that they are doing.

According to him, the vulnerable people pay double or three times of what they would have paid if they were enrolled into the state Government’s health contributory scheme.

Pharmacist Kasimu further explained that healthcare has been one of the issues that vulnerable members of the society have been battling to address, adding that, if given access to healthcare in addition to the other items for one year, they will continue to be happy with the government.

The Pharmacist while noting that the cost for the enrollment into Bauchi health insurance scheme is just twelve thousand Naira, advised that the government target the number of people it wants to target and allocate the funds to the state Health insurance agency to enroll them.

He said, if enrolled, the beneficiaries would have access to health services for a year without really paying for health expenditure at the point of service.

Earlier in her welcoming remarks, Mrs Elizabeth Cah, the Coordinator of J4PD said that the meeting was going to accord journalists more knowledge of how to track budget implementation with a view to improving spendings in the health sector.

Leave a Reply