Primary School Students Nationwide To Enjoy Free Medical Coverage
Pupils in public primary schools in Nigeria will soon enjoy free
healthcare at all levels, under a special arrangement currently receiving
finishing touches by technocrats of the National Health Insurance Scheme
The Executive Secretary of the Scheme, Dr. Femi Thomas made this known
during an advocacy visit to the Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore
Orji, in Umuahia, recently.
He described this initiative as one the strategies being developed by the
Scheme towards the timely and unfailing attainment of universal health
coverage in the country.
Dr. Thomas appealed to Governor Orji to make health insurance mandatory in
his state, as a significant step in the promotion of health insurance as a
social solidarity, by which those with financial capacity make provision
for those who cannot afford to pay for healthcare.
According to him, the comprehensive digital process of registering the
primary school children in the exercise is being finalised by the Scheme,
so as to ensure that the integrity of the registration process is
preserved through transparency and total inclusion.
He noted that the Scheme would bear the total cost of the programme for
the initial year, after which the state governments would be required to
provide sixty percent of the funding, while the Scheme would bring up the
balance of forty percent. This is to guarantee the sustainability of the
Thomas hinted at the occasion, that at the expiration of the NHIS/MDGs
special intervention for Maternal and Child Health in 2015, pregnant women
in the benefiting states will continue to enjoy free healthcare
nationwide, with the scheme bearing the cost for the first three years.
He therefore urged the Governor to ensure the participation of his state
in the programme, as a political bonus before the expiration of the
programme in 2015.
Responding, Governor Theodore Orji explained that his administration
operates a two-point agenda of Security and Health, which underlines his
recognition of health as a strategic component of the human capital
profile in any society.
Further to this, he gave the cheering news that he has directed that Abia
state workforce in the seventeen Local Government Areas be integrated into
NHIS, adding that to demonstrate commitment, the state government has
already engaged six HMOs to actualise the objective.
The Governor, who gave the assurance that Abia state will fold into the
NHIS/MDGs MCH programme under his administration, also promised to make
available a piece of land, following a request by the Scheme, for the
development of the state office of NHIS in Umuahia.
The NHIS team was received by a high powered delegation of the Abia state
government, led by the Governor and included the Deputy Governor and
members of the state Executive Council.