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ANHIS: Achieving quality healthcare for ndi Anambra

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GOVERNOR of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, last week, launched Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme (ANHIS), which ensures that everyone, both the rich and poor, has a chance of enjoying quality healthcare services in the state.

THE scheme, with special offers for pregnant women and children under age five, can be said to be the most affordable quality healthcare delivery system in Africa as it offers a comprehensive scheme that covers preventive and curative care with rehabilitative and surgical services for participants for a whole year, with N1,000 a month per person, culminating to N12,000 per year, no matter the severity of one’s ailment.

GOVERNOR Obiano, at the ceremony to mark the launching of the scheme, announced that the state government has paid for policies covering 10,000 people from across the state and is working out modalities for equitable distribution of the offer to ensure that every community is adequately represented among the beneficiaries, adding that his administration will pay 10% counterpart funding for the coverage of all civil servants and their families by the scheme.

“INDEED, I am very hopeful that our illustrious brothers and sisters shall easily take up the challenge of offering insurance cover to their relatives and to their towns and communities or even local government areas. Since it costs only N12,000 per person per year, I have no doubt that some of our brothers and sisters  will underwrite this cost for their relatives in the spirit of onye aghana nwanne ya…”, the governor said.

NATIONAL Light sees the governor’s initiative of inaugurating the scheme as apt, considering the fact that a good number of ndi Anambra, particularly those in remote communities rely on self medication, patronizing quacks, fake pastors and herbalists to take care of their health issues due to poverty.

AGAIN, Health Insurance Scheme is generally regarded as the most widely used form of health care financing worldwide as it is committed to securing universal coverage and access to adequate and affordable healthcare.

MOST remarkable is the governor’s gesture of paying for policies covering 10,000 people from across the state and working out modalities to ensure equitable distribution of the offer and the promise to pay 10 per cent in counterpart funding for the coverage of all civil servants and their families by the scheme.

WE commend Governor Obiano for this noble gesture which no doubt, marks the beginning of quality, affordable and accessible healthcare delivery and the end to avoidable suffering, preventable disability and careless death for ndi Anambra, as he rightly pointed out at the occasion.

IT is however, our view that the scheme, despite its noble objectives, will not be sustained if it does not gain support and appropriate patronage of ndi Anambra and all levels of health care, including private sector participation. We therefore, lend our voice to that of the governor in calling on well-to-do indigenes and residents of the state to take up the challenge of offering insurance cover to their relatives, towns, communities, local governments and even friends under the scheme.

MEMBERS of professional associations, social clubs, age grades, employers of labour and members of the organized private sector in the state should equally key into the scheme and buy policies for their members and staff. They should avoid seeing it as a programmne for government workers alone. This is important because only a minimal percentage of ndi Anambra are civil servants.

GOVERNMENT should ensure that the Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) for the scheme are trustworthy and will not seize the opportunity to enrich their pockets through dubious means or deny people access to healthcare for one reason or the other, especially due to unnecessary bottlenecks.

MOST importantly, there is need for government to ensure that healthcare providers involved in the programme are equitably distributed to all zones, LGs or communities for easy access.

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