The Ebonyi State Government has appealed to the civil servants in the state to enroll in health insurance scheme.
To demonstrate its full support to the scheme, the state government has earmarked N100m as it’s counterpart fund for health insurance scheme of the state civil servants.
The Executive Secretary of Ebonyi State Health Insurance Agency, (EBSHIA) Dr Uzoma Agwu, disclosed during a 2 day sensitization meeting on secondary health care service/drug tariff with organized labour and other stakeholders in the sector.
The programme was organized by USAID-IHP in collaboration with the Ebonyi State Health Insurance Agency, (EBSHIA) at New Haven Hotels, Abakaliki.
Speaking, Dr Uzoma Agwu noted that state government’s counterpart fund was ready, adding that the civil servants were the ones holding themselves from accessing quality health services at a minimal cost in the state.
She said immediately the Nigerian Labour Congress, (NLC) Ebonyi state chapter agreed that the state government should start the 5% monthly deduction or 1.7 annual deduction for the health insurance from their salaries, that the workers will begin to enjoy the programme.
She stated that according the law establishing the scheme, that NLC has the legal right to sue government if it defaults likewise the state government.
The Executive Secretary, noted that the enrollment into the state health insurance scheme was open for all residents of the state as the programme is factored into two sectors – formal and informal sectors, adding that for the informal enrollees, they are to pay 12, 000 annually or 1000 monthly and N45, 000 for six family beneficiaries.
“Is all in the hands of the civil servants. Once we start deduction the government will pay their own counterpart fund. Though I may not call it challenge now until we start deduction and state government does not pay their own counterpart fund.
“At the end of the programme I’m expecting that the labour leaders would have been well informed and they will go back to their people and plead with them to permit this deduction to start so that they can start benefiting from it.
“The governor has earmarked N100 million as counterpart fund for the state to help workers under her workforce to access the scheme and we believe that once they are captured and deductions made that the fund will be released.
“The governor is passionate about achieving the universal health coverage and the success of the health insurance programme in the state,” she stated.
On his part, the Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, ((NLC), Ebonyi state chapter, Comrade Leonard Nkah, assured that Labour having seen the benefits of the scheme will do its part to convince the workers to key into the scheme for its full take off in Ebonyi as seen in other states.
He said Labour has lingered for long and that it is time to take decision.