By Usman Shuaibu
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has launched a comprehensive Social Health Insurance Programme, to cater for the health needs of retirees in the Territory.
Making this disclosure, the mandate Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Mallam Adamu Bappah, said the programme would alleviate the sufferings of retirees in accessing quality healthcare.
Bappah who spoke during a stakeholders meeting on retirees social health insurance in Abuja, noted that the age of retirement, which is 60, comes with common health challenges such as diabetes, hypertension and arthritis.
He however assured that the FCTA was committed to ensure that no retiree died as a result of lack of good medical care in the territory and the country at large.
He also assured of the Secretariat’s readiness to ensure that the programme was subsidised and made sustainable for individuals in the FCT.
“This is a time when source of income for sustenance is grossly reduced. I am aware that a programme like this requires a lot of funds for its implementation.
“If this objective is achieved, it will be on record that FCTA has taken the lead and will be a pacesetter in the implementation of this programme for retirees in Nigeria.
“We will see how we can leverage on the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHPF) to make the programme a success,’’ he explained.
Also speaking, the Programme Manager, FCT Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS), Dr. Ahmed Danfulani, opined that the initiative was being driven in line with the universal health coverage goal for all, irrespective of status.
Danfulani therefore enjoined all retirees to enrol themselves so as to reduce an out-of-pocket expenditure in the future of health challenges, adding that the larger the pool the merrier the programme would become.
He explained that all measures have been put in place to ensure that out-of-drug syndrome in FHIS hospitals were tackled and minimised.
He reiterated that the pensioners are expected to pay N18,000 yearly for FHIS, adding that each pensioner is going to benefit N500,000 healthcare services all through the year if calculated.
On his part Secretary, Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), FCT branch, Mr Mohammed Bida, thanked the FCTA for bringing such a laudable programme to the pensioners.
Bida however advised that the FHIS payment should be deducted monthly and directly from their pension’s account, so as to avoid the issue of debts.
He urged the FCTA to have special departments for the pensioners because of old age, as they would not be able to go on the queue with younger patients.