The Enugu State Government has announced plans to introduce Health Insurance Scheme (SHIS) for workers in the state public service.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, made this known in an interview, on Tuesday, in Enugu.
He said the decision was taken by the State Executive Council following a presentation by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fintan Ekochin.
Anikwe said that the state government would soon prepare a draft bill for the establishment of the state Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which would be forwarded to the State Assembly for approval.
He said that the passage of that bill would usher in the implementation of the scheme in the state.
“The State Executive Council has approved to unbundle a draft bill for the establishment of Enugu State Universal Health Coverage from the Health Sector Reform Bill.
“The process will also involve the engagement of consultant health insurers willing to offer their services free of charge, as well as the constitution of competent ministry staff to manage the process,” he said.
Anikwe said that the health commissioner had while briefing the council assured that the ministry would work out the feasibility details of the scheme.
“Ekochin had assured that the state will enjoy the best deal in terms of cost effectiveness and efficiency by considering and exploiting the available opportunities in the scheme.
“The opportunities include one per cent fund from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation by contributing 25 per cent of the cost of implementing the project in the state.
“There is also an access to the 62 million dollars grant by the World Bank, through its Global Financing Facility which supports Nigeria to achieve Universal Health Coverage to target the health of women and children,” he said.
The commissioner said that the implementation of the SHIS would also pave way for access to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by workers in the state.
Besides, Anikwe said the proposed law would ensure access to technical and financial support by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for states without primary healthcare development agency.
“We were also informed that the state has citizens with vast federal and international experiences as technocrats and health system experts.
“There are also those directly managing and interfacing with such projects who are ready to assist their home state to set up UHC.
“The people in the rural areas can benefit in the scheme from ongoing engagement of specialist medical consultants to work in the district hospitals,” Anikwe said.