Ogun moves to implement universal health insurance in informal sector - THE BUSINESS PACKAGE


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Ogun moves to implement universal health insurance in informal sector

The Ogun State Government has said that the implementation of the universal health coverage within its domain will begin with the informal sector to further reduce out-of-pocket expenditure and increase access to quality healthcare regardless of socio-economic status.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, during the pre-launch press briefing of the State’s informal sector health insurance scheme, in Abeokuta.

Coker lamented that people spend a high proportion of their income on healthcare which many cannot afford, saying that the result of out-of-pocket expenditure is poor health outcomes such as high maternal and under 5 mortality rates and a poorly utilized health service. 

According to her, the National Health Account of 2017 mentioned that  76.6% of Nigerians pay out-of-pocket for their healthcare expenditure. Of particular note are the vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, children under five and elderly who do not have the means to pay for the healthcare they need.

Coker said that the present administration in Ogun State having understood the prevailing economic constraints in the country, is aligning with the global and national agenda of pursuing the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by the year 2025, thereby establishing the Ogun State Health Insurance Scheme (OGSHIS).

She said that the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency (OGSHIA) will be responsible for mobilizing financial resources for the Scheme, pooling of risks, purchase of healthcare services for the beneficiaries and performing general oversight functions.
The Commissioner pointed that the basic benefit package of the scheme shall cut across both preventive and curative health services, taking into cognizance the prevailing local morbidity and mortality profile, including pre- & post-natal care and normal delivery.

She said that access to basic healthcare shall be through public and private facilities offering primary healthcare services, noting that the facilities shall serve as gateways into the Scheme. 

Coker stated that flexible financial contribution of N1,000 per individual or N4,000 per month for a family of 6 to include father, mother and not more than four biological children under the age of eighteen shall be the premium, pledging that OGSHIA shall operate a single universal plan, named  ‘Ogun State Health Plan’.
The Commissioner further said that the plan shall consist of a basic, defined essential benefits package of healthcare services for Primary Care as well as an affordable supplementary benefit package of healthcare services for Secondary Care, affirming that it will be accessible from both public and private primary healthcare facilities who shall refer to designated secondary and tertiary health facilities as required

According to her, the target groups under the Informal Sector Health Insurance Schemes include, road transport unions, markets and traders unions, artisans, farmers’ associations, as well as Community Developments Associations, traditional institutions and religious rulers, among others. 

‘There shall be a clearly defined procedure for registering enrolees as well as a form of identification, including membership and insurance card to assist in identification of members at the point care.
‘Our prospective clients can start registering for the Scheme at different locations through the OGSHIA website (ogshia.org), the designated Third-Party Administrators and Primary Health Centres in their communities across the twenty local governments,’ she said.
Coker, however, added that the imminent launch of the Informal Sector Health Insurance Scheme by the Governor Dapo Abiodun  would usher in the take-off of the initiative to all categories of people, pointing that the 
Agency has adequate complement of personnel and a befitting ambience of quasi-corporate status.

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