The Kaduna State Government says it has targeted 40,000 beneficiaries to access free healthcare services from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS ) at no cost.
The state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said this at the flag off ceremony on Monday in Kaduna on the identification and enrolment exercise for beneficiaries under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) .
Balarabe said the programme is an important milestone in the history of the state as the first set of 40,000 beneficiaries within the target groups would be identified and enrolled to benefit from this very important free programme.
The target groups include children under 5 years of age, pregnant women, the elderly and people living with disabilities.
“This is one important programme that aims to increase access to Basic Minimum Health Care Services for all Nigerians towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” Balarabe said.
She said the state government has shown great commitment to this course by the establishment of the Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA).
The deputy governor noted that from its establishment to date, the authority has recorded remarkable achievements.
According to her, the enrolment of about 40,000 beneficiaries into the State Contributory Health Scheme registered and empaneled 12,000 vulnerable persons to the accredited primary healthcare facilities.
She said the scheme has “accredited about 300 healthcare facilities at both Primary and Secondary levels of care.
“While About 120 enrollees have so far accessed care under the scheme.”
She added that the state government has also earmarked one per cent of its Consolidated Revenue Funds (CRF) to the authority for the provision of free healthcare services to the vulnerable population in the state.
“This is in addition to the revitalisation of 255 Primary Health Centres that would serve as facilities for both Kaduna State Contributory Health Scheme and BHCPF programme.
“The two Programmes – BHCPF and the Contributory Health Scheme, although complementary, are mutually exclusive.
“They will complement one another to provide access to health for the people of Kaduna state.”
She enjoined residents to ensure that as the authority enrolls eligible beneficiaries into the BHCPF, their families are enrolled into the Contributory Health Scheme.
Balarabe appreciated the Federal Ministry of Health, National Identity Management Commission and other implementing agencies at both federal and state levels for this commitment, particularly the NHIS for providing all the necessary support and coordination towards the successful implementation of the programme.
The deputy governor e pressed optimism on the success of the scheme.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina Mohammed-Baloni, said the state, being one of the beneficiary of the fund, qualified after meeting federal government criteria.
The criteria included the establishment of contributory health scheme to provide access to basic quality health and affordable healthcare for financial risk to all residents and a contribution of a N100 million equity fund.
She said that the state government had earmarked one per cent of it consolidated revenue to carter for the treatment of the vulnerable population, including children under five years and pregnant women, the aged and people living with disabilities.
“Basic health care provision funding to be implemented through two pathways; the National Primary Health Care Agency (NPHCDA) and the NHIS, and sister agencies in the state.
“NPHCDA gateway is for providing service while the NHIS gateway will pay for this service, and the state steering committee in the state, the state primary health care board and state contributory health authority have has been working very hard for us to get to this August occasion,” she said.
Mohammed-Baloni said the state has conducted a quick assessment of 250 facilities at ward levels to ascertain level of readiness of facilities to provide services as well as quality improvement plan for each of the centres.
She disclosed that the state also received its fund from both the NPHCDA and NHIS gateways in excess of N1 billion for the roll-out of the programme.
According to her, out of the amount disbursed to the SPHCDB, 239 PHCs have already received N600,000 each to begin quality improvement and procurement of drugs and other commodities.
“They have all developed business plans and quality improvement plans to guide expenditure as well as ensure top quality provision of service.
“The ministry will closely monitor judicious utilisation of fund to ensure that the targeted groups benefit from the programme.
“Efforts will be intensified to make sure that Kaduna state health supply management agency always provide quality drugs and consumables to all accredited centres.”
On his part, the Director-General of the State Contributory Health Management Authority, Mr Aliyu Saidu, said the support from the state government has made them to record one of the highest enrolment across the 36 states.
He said the health scheme has met all the criteria and have been working tirelessly to see all residents have access to facilities without financial constraints.
According to him, with the 60,000 target, it will put them on top of all states to enable them get more funding.
“With this target, we are more likely to get more funds of N1 billion unlike last year where we got N50 million,” said Sa’idu. (NAN)