Gov. Ganduje Declares Support For Universal Health Coverage
On 23rd of September during a 3-days workshop for the agencies in charge of social health insurance in all states, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria, Gov Abdullahi through his deputy – Mr Nasir Gawuna – declared support for implementation of health reforms towards the success of UHC (Universal Health Coverage) in his state.
He mentioned that the workshop had come at the right time when the people of the country were desperately crying to get adequate, affordable and good quality health care. The Governor said his state has begun the implementing the contributory healthcare scheme for more than thirty six months now and had recorded success enrolling more than 370000 people.
It was stated expressly that the scheme currently is in operation in healthcare facilities number up to two hundred and forty five, which included one hundred and thirty four primary, thirty seven secondary and seventy four private facilities.
The governor stated that the scheme legal framework has been provided and a total of eight five million naira had been spent renovating and furnishing the accommodation for the scheme’s Agency’s office. Two hundred and fifty million grant has also been approved for providing ICT infrastructure, with a hundred million naira set aside for the state.
Gov. Ganduje further said that the challenge of getting affordable healthcare lingered due to high rate of poverty in most households. He said that they have dedicated 5% of revenue generated internally by the state to sector under KHETFUND.
He explained that Kano state has begun considering increasing the free Child Health and Maternal program by covering more vulnerable groups more especially the women who are pregnant, children who are less than five and civil servants who are retired. This is an effort of the government to ensure the health system is sustained and can be able to drive the success of Universal Health Coverage by making all residents in Kano gain access to affordable, qualitative and efficient healthcare.
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Executive Secretary, the person of Prof. Sambo said the 3 days workshop has a goal of aligning the NHIS to State Programs and Health Schemes. He mentioned that this was important because Nigeria in year 2000, ranked 187 over 191 in it’s performance in healthcare systems in the world. Prof Sambo pointed out that the position was bad for the country’s image among other nations.
The secretary said the 2015 MDGs global target helped to encourage the nation to face the problems. One option the country used was developing a Bill for national health that would cause transformation in the health sector to make the sector respond better to the cravings of the masses. More than ten years was spent before this bill was passed as law and currently is the National Health Act which is being celebrated today. One beautiful feature of the Act is that it provides for nothing less than 1% consolidated revenue to be dedicated solely to health sector, where half of the fund is meant for improving the monetary access to basic health service to the masses through the NHIS.
He further said that the program is now a reality and that the states which were yet to meet up and now begun the program. The secretary mentioned that the NHIS disbursed to fifteen states and the federal capital territory a tranche of 6.5 Billion Naira of the BHCPF just about two weeks ago.
He also said that the NHIS has intentions of developing a platform for comprehensive coordination between the NHIS, agencies of states, partners and all stakeholders for health insurance to be the best program in the country.