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

Bauchi State Healthcare Contributory Management Agency (BASHCMA) has declared that it has so far spent the sum of over N400m on the implementation of the state health insurance scheme

minimum package of health care services, primary as well as secondary components.

The disclosure was made by the Executive Secretary of BASHCMA, Dr Mansur Dada while interacting with members of a Civil Society Organization (CSO) based in Bauchi, Journalists for Public Health Development and Initiative (J4PD) who paid an advocacy visit to the Agency.

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

He explained that, “The informal sector program is funded through the Federal Equity Fund, State Government Equity Fund, Local Government Equity Fund and then the Adoption Equity Fund” .

According to him, “Under the Federal Equity Fund, that is where the basic health provision funds falls, and right now we have started implementing the basic Healthcare in Bauchi state, this is our 16th month of implementation of the basic Healthcare provision fund”

The Executive Secretary of BASHCMA added that, “the Federal Government has been allocating money, they have allocated it twice, N1b and we were able to register more than 53,000 enrollees and these are across the state”.

“It is in all the 20 LGAs and in each ward, we have about 155 enrollees and in each of the metropolitan wards because they are bigger and more populated we have 255 enrollees and they have been enjoying services which covers what is called basic minimum package of health care services, primary as well as secondary components and we have paid more than N400m to these primary healthcare facilities and the program is going on”, he added.

He further said that, “There is also addition from the State Government where we implemented the ‘Saving One million Lives’ and we are now implementing the Betfund funded program. The LG is yet to start, that is the Adoption Equity Fund program, we have the USAID which has sponsored about 2000 lives who are now enjoying the services across the state, this is the vulnerable sector”.

Also according to him, “There is the informal sector which is meant for those who are not under the vulnerable and are not working in the organized sector and we have already started and have 124 people who are benefiting from it, the number is rising everyday” .

He however lamented that the formal sector is the one that is a bit difficult saying, “we have encountered a lot of challenges, we started the negotiations since 2019, COVID-19 came and destroyed everything we had done but at the end of 2020, we picked up again and we had the first series of negotiations but when it came to implementing, it collapsed”.

Mansur Dada said that, “we started another series of negotiations, we recently concluded it in Kano and the Civil servants are categorized into 3, legislators are paying 5% of their consolidated salary, political office holders are also paying 5% of their consolidated salary and the civil servants who are paying 2% of their consolidated salary”.

According to him, “The memo was written after the communique through the Office of the HoS and the Governor has approved it. Any moment from now, the HoS is going to communicate to all the 90 MDAs that we have in the state, we are actually progressing with that part and we are hoping that immediately all the communications are concluded we are going to start the enrollment while deductions is starting in November and we are hoping to start services in January 2023”.

Apart from the public sector programs, there are also other programs under the formal sector, there is the organized private sector, private institutions that may come in to the insurance, there are students of tertiary institutions and the pensioners program, all these put together formed the state contributory scheme.

Speaking further, he said that, “As you know, previously, the government of Nigeria whether at federal, state or local government levels, they are the ones that are sponsoring or paying for the health care services of the citizens”.

“But gradually, there was a change in the situation as a result of economic deterioration, increase in population and so many other factors which has reached a certain stage where we can say that the government only provides about 30% of the needs while the remaining 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 the remaining one has to come from our pockets as out of pocket Expenditure”, he added.

According to him, “So, this out of pocket Expenditure is actually increasing day in day out, so that is why the government at the international level, national level, state level and even the LGA level are trying their best to see how they can actually reduce this out of pocket Expenditure”.

He said that, “let it be that maybe we can get what we want without spending out of our pocket immediately at 70% while the remaining one we can pay out of pocket, so that is what actually led to the MDGs 3, after MDGs 3 al ot of series of meetings were held at the national level, we already have the NHIA which is the one that is taking care of all the schemes in Nigeria, that is what led to the formation of the state social insurance agencies”.

He then stressed that, “I think we have it in 34 states and FCT, the only 2 states that are yet to establish the scheme are Rivers and Akwa – Ibom states. In each of the states, the scheme is backed by a state assembly law  the same with Bauchi state, there was a law before the establishment of the Agency”.

Mansur Dada concluded saying, “Recently in May 2022, there were a lot of changes in the NHIS in such a way that it accommodates all the state social insurance or health contributory scheme and it has made it Compulsory for everybody as long as you are a Nigerian to have health insurance so in addition to the federal and state laws, these are the 2 laws that are backing the scheme to all the citizens of Nigeria”.

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