By Stanley Onyekwere
In a bid to improve access to qualitative healthcare, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has rolled out a pro poor and pulnerable persons Social Health Insurance in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Territory.
The programme, according to the FCTA was a strategy for enhancing social inclusion, a demonstration of efforts to bring succour and hope to the poorest of the poor and vulnerable households, and a way to ensure that the FCT attains 100 per cent social health insurance coverage for all residents.
Flagging off the scheme, th FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, noted that access to qualitative healthcare especially in hard-to-reach communities, remains a challenge to overcome.
Aliyu, who was represented by the Acting Secretary of FCT Area Council Service Secretariat, Mrs. Omolola Olanipekun, said the FCT Administration cannot afford to have a healthcare system that is affordable to only a few, “just as we cannot afford to have a health insurance scheme that is accessible to only a few”.
The Minister revealed that the Administration had engaged with stakeholders in the health and social services sub-sectors at all levels and developed a blueprint for positively touching the lives of all the residents of the FCT.
“It is for this reason that we developed a blueprint for positively touching the lives of all the residents of the FCT by way of a 5-year, 2019 to 2023, Strategic Plan.
“As you may recall, we commenced the implementation of the plan with the launching, on December 2nd, 2019, of the enrolment of all Area Council employees into the FCT Health Insurance Scheme to increase access to good quality health services, a necessary step towards achieving universal health coverage in the FCT.
“Efforts are now ongoing to ensure pregnant women and under five year old children in the FCT are covered by the Health Insurance Scheme to further expand access to good quality and timely health services to these vulnerable groups”, she stressed.
While pledging full commitment to the equity funding for the programme to ensure its success, the Minister also reiterated the FCTA’s resolve to not only sustain the programme, but ensure that the programme is replicated in the remaining five Area Councils of the Territory.
In his remarks, the Director FCT Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Ahmed Danfulani, revealed that the enrollees of the programme would enjoy a very robust service package almost equal to the formal sector package, including an opportunity for referral to secondary care facilities and major surgeries.
He also added that residents must not suffer financial hardship as a result of accessing healthcare, stressing that payment for services to facilities would follow same with the National Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) with basics like capitation and free for services.