The federal government through the National Health Insurance Agency (NHIA) has identified growing unemployment and poverty are the challenges confronting the implementation of the national health insurance policy.
A senior manager in NHIA, Jide Oloyede noted that for the scheme to be effective and holistically implemented there is need for the government to tackle the menace of unemployment and poverty ravaging the country. Oloyede spoke at the weekend during a town hall meeting for critical stakeholders organized by the New Initiative for Social Development (NISD) and Centre for Social Justice, in partnership with Palladium and the United States of America for International Development (USAID)
He lamented that the poor implementation of the policy has contributed to the inability of achieving universal health coverage and the decline in the life expectancy of Nigerians.
Also speaking, the Director of Planning and Research Ekiti State Health Insurance Scheme, (EKSHIS) Ogunyemi Oyeyemi, explained that for the scheme to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) there is need for the government to redouble its efforts and focus more attention in the rural areas.
As part of efforts of the Ekiti State Government at making healthcare services available for the people of the State, he disclosed that the government through its health insurance scheme called “ULERAWA” have registered about 22,913 beneficiaries in 175 health facilities across the 16 LGAs in the State.
” The authority is trying to create avenues to ensure that many poor and vulnerable people are captured, knowing that many people are incapacitated financially , government is introducing equity plan covering elderly, physically challenged, children, pregnant women , and poor Nigerians,” he said.
Speaking, the program officer of NISD, Jessica Okoli said the event became necessary to sensitize stakeholders in the state on the need for people to enroll for the scheme to achieve effective health coverage.
She explained that the scheme when embraced would no doubt enhance productivity of the people with access to adequate health services especially at the grassroots level.