…as BHCPF – FG enrolls 80,000 vulnerable persons
Segun Babatunde, Bauchi
As part of its efforts towards achieving Universal Health Coverage by the year 2033, the Bauchi State Health Contributory Management Agency (BASHCMA) has disclosed that civil servants registered under the Agency’s formal sector component are to commence accessing health care services by July this year.
This is as the Agency also disclosed that it has enrolled no fewer than 80,000 vulnerable persons under the Federal Government’s Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in the state from its inception in June 2021 to date.
This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary, BASHCMA, Dr Mansur Dada, yesterday tduring a one day media engagement on Health Insurance Scheme organized by Journalists for Public Health and Development Initiative (J4PD) in collaboration with the USAID Integrated Health Program(IHP) and the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, held at the Hazibal Event hall in Bauchi.
Dada who further disclosed that the scheme currently has in its register 144,333 people in the formal,informal and vulnerable sector programme, said the Agency
is implementing the programme in the 323 Primary Health facilities across the state, 26 general hospitals and Specialist Hospital, Bauchi.
According to him, “40 percent of the registered vulnerable enrollees are currently accessing medical services in all the health facilities, by June 2023, the programme will clock two years since inception.The informal sector programme targets those that are neither vulnerable or working in organized setting and it accounts for more than 75 percent of the population, It can be individual or family plan”.
The Executive Secretary said that under the formal sector, an individual plan is N12,000 while a family plan is N10,000 each with maximum of 7 family members per year, adding that the programme which commenced in the month of August 2022, has now 174 enrollees.
Speaking earlier on the overview of USAID IHP 2022 outlook Health financing support to Bauchi state, the State IHP Health Financing Advisor, Pharmacist Khalid Kasimu, said that the goal of IHP is to contribute to the State Level reduction in child and maternal morbidity and mortality and increase the capacity of health system to sustainably support quality PHC services.
He said that it was important for journalists to create more awareness on the benefits of Health insurance and how to access it, pointing that many people are still spending out of their pockets due to ignorance .
In her remarks, the State Coordinator for J4PD, Elizabeth Nange Kah urged journalists to mobilize households to enroll in the Bauchi State Insurance Scheme so that whenever they are sick they have no cause to worry on the cost of medical bills.
She told journalists to do stories that reflect human angles, adding that they can explore the social media to get feed back from the community on what they feel and know about health insurance in the state.
In a keynote address, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Sabiu Abdul Gwallabe commended journalists in the state for providing in-depth reportage of the health sector, pointing out that such reportage create an enabling environment for positive improvement of healthcare through construction and upgrading of health facilities.
The commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ali Babayo Gamawa said that though there were challenges of human resources, the government was doing its best to bridge the gap through regular advertising for recruitment.
The Commissioner commended USAID-IHP for supporting the state government in capacity building of its health personnel as well as infrastructure development for effective service delivery.
He assured that with Civil Society Organisations such as Journalists Reporting Health for Development (J4PD) in the state, there would be no much problem continuing with the USAID-IHP programme anytime the partnership ends.
The Coordinator of J4PD, Elizabeth Kah reiterated the commitment of members of the CSO in reporting the health sector of the state in order to ensure positive action by government.
Kah commended USAID-IHP for building the capacity of members of the J4PD which has improved their skills and technical knowledge of reporting health issues for development.
The J4PD Coordinator urged the participants to use the opportunity given to them to understand the contributory scheme in order to be able to mobilize the public to embrace the scheme.
In his welcome remarks, Health Financing Advisor of USAID-IHP, Pharmacist Khalid Kasimu said that the aim of the meeting was to appreciate the success recorded in the implementation of the formal sector enrollment of the scheme.
He stressed the importance of Journalists in achieving the set objectives of the scheme through constant reporting and advocacy which will lead to more enrollment in the state.