Ebonyi State government, yesterday, urged the state and council workers to register in the state’s health insurance scheme, noting that it will reduce mortality and improve mobility of the citizens.
Speaking with journalists in Abakaliki, the state capital, after meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate bodies, Executive Secretary of Ebonyi State Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Uzoma Agwu, said the meeting was to intimate them on its benefits and enjoined them to enroll in the scheme.
She noted that the government has shown interest and willingness to start implementing but only if the civil servants agreed, stressing that 10 per cent will come from counterparts, while the rest is expected to come from the government, adding that government can not pay the money if civil servants refuse to register in the programme.
Her words: “The scheme is already getting implemented with only 19, 000 beneficiaries. We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Obstetrics Fistula Centre (NOFIC) Abakaliki, not only with health centres, but also with general hospitals
“In a long time, we have been trying to implement what has been passed into law by the House of Assembly in 2018. We have to enroll civil servants to start having the benefits for effective healthcare with little cost and little contribution. With the right facilities, we will be able to reduce mortality and improve mobility.”
She said the state government had shown interest and willingness to begin implementation, because of the previous antagonism from labour unions after which it decided to say they were interested and also went ahead to implement the health insurance scheme of Ebonyi State.
“We came on board in October 2020 and we have at different forums tried to convince labour leaders so that the state will benefit from the scheme. They expressed concern over where the money will be deducted from, but we said most the civil servants agreed that 10 per cent will come from counterparts, while the rest will come from the government.
“We are happy that today the NLC and its affiliate bodies in the meeting accepted to get enrolled in the healthcare scheme. After this, we can go to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and councils to sensitise the people and thereafter we can implement the health insurance scheme, hoping that they will corporate,” she added.