By Tunde Oyekola
Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed on Thursday launched Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme, making it compulsory for all residents.
At the event at the state’s Banquet Hall, Ilorin, Governor Ahmed called on residents to register and take advantage of the statewide scheme to access affordable healthcare delivery in the state.
The governor maintained that the launching had taken the state closer to achieving the dream of universal health coverage by making the scheme compulsory to all citizens and residents.
According to the governor, “the Kwara Health Insurance Law also provides for the establishment of the Kwara Health Insurance Fund,
KHIF, which will pool resources from various sources including premium contribution from residents, the State Government subsidy for the very poor, multi-lateral grants, donations, support from the Federal Government and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)”.
Governor Ahmed disclosed that an initial N200m had been set aside as the state’s capitalization of KHIF to ensure the scheme is well funded.
The governor noted that the state is committed to contributing 1% of the annual Consolidated Revenue Fund and to subsidize premiums and service delivery to those considered part of the poorest in the society as well as 40% of funds received through the “Saving One Million Lives Performance for Results Initiative”—an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Health, supported by the World Bank and targeted towards the improvement of maternal and child health in Nigeria.
“I have no doubt that this scheme is primed for success not only because it is guaranteed to be sustainable, well-funded and well managed, but also because it will leverage digital technology to promote efficiency, and transparency”, Dr Ahmed said.
In his remarks, the Deputy Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr. Michel Deelen promised that the Dutch government would strengthen its partnership with the Kwara State Government to achieve universal health coverage in the state.
Also speaking, the Lead Health Sector Specialist and Head of the World Bank Group’s Health in Africa Initiative, Prof. Khama Rogo announced that over four million dollars had been earmarked for Kwara State to strengthen the healthcare service delivery to the people.
Prof. Rogo who noted that many African leaders wanted to carry out health insurance scheme without success, describing the scheme as a restoration of dignity to the people of the state.
In his address, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, Professor Yusuf Usman promised to partner the state to guarantee the success of the scheme.
The Executive Secretary, Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme, Doctor Bunmi Jetawo-Winter had explained that the scheme was a well throughout and carefully planned scheme to ensure affordable and accessible health care service delivery across the state with each enrolee paying only N25 premium per day.