By Stanley Onyekwere
To ensure effective healthcare delivery to Abuja residents, the leadership of the FCT Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS) has been admonished to embark on intensive awareness campaign, aimed at boosting health insurance coverage in the Territory.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello gave this charge while receiving the Management of the FHIS led by the Director, Dr. M. Ahmed-Danfulani who were in his office to present the FHIS working documents.
Bello noted that the awareness campaign, which is absolutely essential can be achieved through a huge media and publicity drive.
He added that the FCT should be in the forefront and an example for all states government to imbibe as the Federal government hopes to role out affordable health insurance enrolment across the country.
He also noted that for the Scheme to function properly and ensure quality service delivery, the finances of the FHIS should be independent of external influence.
According to him: “We have to spend a lot time, energy and resources on publicity, it is absolutely essential, and I want you to use the facilities of our call centre; the Special Assistant Media can seat down with you and work up the strategy and you must budget for it properly.
“Your finances should be independent, so that you will be able to run the affairs, and we also will be able to monitor you, and check you, based on rules and regulation”.
The FCT Minister, who expressed satisfaction with the working documents especially the FHIS Operational Guidelines added that the Presentation of the working documents is in tandem with the FCTA’s direction which will ensure that all Secretariat, Departments and Agencies present their Operational guidelines to the Ministers office.
‘‘Since you (Dr. Danfulani) were appointed till date we have seen tremendous progress and its line with the vision of Mr president, President Muhammadu Buhari for us to widen the Health Insurance coverage.
“As a matter of fact, the mandate given to me and the minister of state includes the fact that we should ensure 100% coverage for the citizens of the FCT in health insurance, so what you are doing is in the right direction.’
“It is very important we know that Abuja, especially the FCTA is an extension of the Federal Government, we need to make this perfectly work well here in the FCT, so that other parts of the country will come on board, and we are lucky with the level of infrastructure, the level of education, and other facility that will complement this programme’’, he stressed.
Furthermore, the Minister enjoined the FHIS to develop a more robust benefit package that is different from that of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), so that more diseases can be captured.
‘I want you to ensure that 100% of the FCT citizens are covered in the scheme either in the formal or in the informal sector, to achieve this, it is equally important FHIS has to be unique, you have to cover all disease and all ailments”, he stated.
Earlier, the FHIS Director, Dr. Danfulani, who made presented six working documents, which according to him, have been developed by the best brains in the system, with the help of many development partners including the USAID Integrated Health Programme (IHP).
Danfulani added that the FHIS has also developed some questionnaires for patients to be able to rate a hospital in terms of its services and professionalism which will be followed up by our monitoring and evaluation unit of the FHIS.
“If you want to set up a state insurance scheme, it is mandatory and compulsory that you have these documents, because these are the documents that are going to guide your activities, your daily activities your actions, your decisions on every aspect of health insurance.
“This documents are supported by HP Plus, USAID and many development partners, we were in keffi for a week to brainstorm and develop this work plans”, he explained.
PeoplesDaily reports that the six documents are: Standard Treatment Guidelines, Annual Operational Plans 2021, Strategic Plan 2020-2024, Benefit Package, Operational Guidelines, and MOU with Hospitals are expected to lead the direction to which the FHIS is following.
Also, the Presentation was witnessed by the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, the Acting Secretary Health and Human Services Secretariat HHSS Dr. Mohammed Kawu, Director Health Financing, Dr. Salihu Muhammad, Director Planning Research and Statistics HHSS, Dr. Ibrahim S.A as well as heads of other Departments in the HHSS and FHIS.