Katsina state gov’t moves to establish ‘State health insurance agency’
The Katsina state Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari said that the state government in collaboration with the state house of assembly, the state chapter of Nigeria labour Congress NLC, Medical and Health Workers Union are working closely to come up with a bill for an Agency to replicate National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the state.
The Governor also emphasized the need for the management of National Health Insurance Scheme-NHIS to carry out more advocacy for people in the state to understand the programme properly.
Alhaji Aminu Masari was speaking when he received the Executive secretary of the scheme, Professor Usman Yusuf who paid him a courtesy call at government house, Katsina.
The Governor explained that the scheme, loudable as it is could be misunderstood by the people as insurance affects the sensibilities of Muslims in general. Alhaji Aminu Masari was happy however with the performance of a staff of NHIS who volunteers to educate people of Some communities in Danja local government on the advantages of the scheme, which brought acceptance and participation.
Alhaji Aminu Masari noted that the Agency would reduce problems of seeking for donations for patients to buy drugs prescribed for them by Doctors in clinics and hospitals.
He commended the Executive Secretary for the good works in the NHIS, stressing that he was not surprised when he learnt of his suspension sometimes back.
Alhaji Aminu Masari described Katsina people as rebellious when they know that on the right track in the performance of their duties.
Earlier in a remark, the Executive secretary of NHIS, Professor Usman Yusuf spoke at length on the National Health Bill assented to by president Muhammad Buhari.
The Executive Secretary explained that the bill had provided for one percent of realisable federal revenue to be expended on the health sector.
Of the amount, he said five percent is secondary, forty five percent for primary healthcare while fifty percent is for the NHIS, stressing that although the scheme had been characterized by failures in the past, everything is being done to turn round the fortunes of NHIS.
He emphasized the need for the passing of the bill at state levels for the insurance scheme to support the purchase of health consumables at the grassroots level.
Professor Usman Yusuf who said he was part of the restoration agenda setting of the Masari led government even before 2015 general elections expressed happiness that the governor had started implementing the agenda in the renovated and upgraded hospitals across the state.
He also commended Governor Masari for the fatherly role he played during his suspension from office and the resolution of the problem. He assured that before leaving Katsina, he Will meet with relevant stakeholders to ensure the passage of the bill that would help the state to benefit from NHIS programmes.
He announced the opening of a new zonal NHIS office in Kano to take care of Kano, Jigawa and Katsina States.
Professor Usman Yusuf used the visit to announce the passing away of the state coordinator of NHIS, Alhaji Kazaure who died in an accident along Kankara during one of the advocacy visits on NHIS activities in the state.