Insurance enrollment

USAID/IHP laments low health insurance enrollment in Bauchi

The USAID-funded Integrated Health Program (IHP) lamented the low enrollment of the poorest of the poor in the government-funded health insurance policy, making their access to health care very difficult quality.

The lament was made by the Executive Director of USAID/IHP in Bauchi State, Dr. Alhassan Siaka, on Tuesday, while stating that a 3-day media engagement workshop on the program of health insurance was held at Jamil, Azare hotels in Bauchi State.

Alhassan Siaka said that “this workshop focuses particularly on universal health coverage. You will agree with me that no matter how much investment we make in PHC, whether human resources, all the products are provided, whether the infrastructure is improved, if we do not have citizens who can afford these services, then we are going to have problems”.

He added: “We realized that in a state like Bauchi, where around 5.7 million people out of around 8 million are classified as extremely poor, it is difficult for this segment of the population to continue to pay out of pocket. health services. So, we thought we wanted to draw the attention of the media to this aspect of the stakes of the evaluation of health services”.

Alhassan Siaka further stated that “a lot needs to be done to improve the health insurance coverage for the people of Bauchi State and there are 3 elements to this health insurance which we will talk about in this meeting. But there is formal health insurance that covers people who work for the organized private sector and the civil service. There is the informal health insurance which covers the rest of the population without formal employment, people in small businesses and all that”.

“But then, the most critical is the vulnerable population, the people who do not have enough resources of their own to be able to pay for their health services through insurance, these people are supposed to be taken care of by the government, which is the Federal or the state government or certain philanthropic businesses and faith-based organizations”.

He lamented that “Bauchi at the moment does not benefit more from this, out of the poor population, as I said, only 5.3 million out of about 50,000 benefit, how can you cover 50,000 out of 5 .3 million and expect the health indices to change positively from the program”.

We have already agreed based on the parameters of these people, something drastically needs to be done to ensure they can access primary health care, but at the moment that is not the case. That’s why right now we’ll be giving you all the facts as members of the media, how things are going so you can build advocacy messages around the demands and make sure we get the right answers and demand accountability from the Bauchi State government. begins to take its responsibility seriously.

According to him, this will force the government at the centre, the federal government, to redouble its efforts in this regard. Already, basic health care provision funds have answered some reasons why we can get 50,000, but that’s because that’s the only number that can be supported”.

He added that “there are movements around the National Assembly to increase the allocation of this fund, so we are asking the media to help put more pressure to ensure that the law passes and then to take the necessary steps to ensure that funding has been expanded”. significantly increase the number of people who benefit from it”.

Alhassan Siaka further stated, “At the moment, in the formal health insurance sector, there is a problem between organized labor and the state government and it has not made much progress over the years. years, there is room for the media. intervene to solve this problem because some of us are members of organized labour. ,

“We have to mediate between the two parties to be able to move forward, otherwise the consequences weigh on all of us and that is why we believe that this is a critical moment and it is a very important intervention that we all have to play. our roles, ultimately we will all understand what the key issues are and we will also understand the roles we need to play in order to make progress in ensuring the need for universal health insurance coverage for the people of the State of Bauchi,” he pointed out.

The USAID/IHP director expressed his concern that “otherwise we continue to have this number which is not good for the ear. Whenever they talk about maternal mortality, infant mortality, infant mortality, low immunization coverage, low family planning uptake, Bauchi is always among the states with the worst ratings, not the kind of thing we want to live with, we have to change the narratives, we can do that in this room because we all have roles to play in correcting the problem”.

The workshop was organized for media practitioners in Bauchi State, both print and electronic media, members of the Bauchi State Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child Health Media (RMNCH) network powered by the USAID/IHP, Bauchi State.

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