Kwara Spends N1.1 billion on Community Health Insurance Scheme
Kwara State Government at the weekend said it has spent N1.1billion towards funding and implementation of community health insurance scheme to low income rural dwellers in the state.
Under the scheme, the government said about 139,174 persons who were low income earners have so far enrolled in the 11 local government councils as at the end of 2016.
The scheme started in 2007 under former Governor Bukola Saraki at Shonga in Edu, Asa and Ilorin West Local Government Councils.
The present administration in the state under Abdulfatah Ahmed has decided to ensure the spread of the scheme to all other local government councils so as to make it a universal scheme for the people of the state.
Governor Ahmed disclosed this in Ilorin during the official launch of universal community health insurance scheme to people of the state.
According to him, “Between 2007-2016, the Kwara State Government had partnered the government of Netherlands (through the Dutch Health Insurance Fund and PharmAccess Foundation) and Hygeia Health Management Organisation in the implementation of the scheme.
"The Dutch government funded the larger portion of the subsidies while the Hygeia HMO provided the administrative framework for the participation of both public and private healthcare providers.
"Based on the urgent need to improve access to universal healthcare, it became necessary to expand CHIS, which was considered narrow in scope due to its selective focus.
"The old scheme, therefore, had to be replaced with a wider-spread, comprehensive, better-funded and managed scheme. Consequently, I signed Kwara State Health Insurance Agency Bill into law in November 2017. The law sets up the Kwara Health Insurance Scheme, which makes contributory health insurance mandatory for all residents of Kwara State.
"This law replaces the Community Health Insurance Scheme and ensures universal health coverage to all citizens and residents of the state for a low annual premium.
"Following the launch of the Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme, all citizens and residents of Kwara State are expected to enroll in the program as required by the law establishing it.
"No more will citizens and residents of Kwara State be unable to access critical treatment because they cannot afford to pay hospital fees or buy prescribed drugs".
The governor therefore urged all Kwarans and residents in the state to comply with the law and register for the scheme in order to have access the ongoing healthcare initiatives to access quality healthcare.