By Festus Fifen.
As the Drive for Universal Health Coverage begins to take a center stage in Nigeria, The Federal Capital Territory Administration has flagged off the Pro Poor and Vulnerable Persons Social Health Insurance in Gwagwalada Area Council of the territory.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani
Aliyu, who performed the ceremony said with the flag off, the Administration has once again demonstrated that its programmes and activities are geared towards improving the lives and wellbeing of every FCT resident especially the poor and vulnerable persons in rural communities.
In a statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister, Austin Elemue, The Minister who was represented by the Acting Secretary of FCT Area Council Service Secretariat, Mrs. Omolola Olanipekun, noted that access to qualitative healthcare especially in hard-to-reach communities, remains a challenge to overcome.
She stressed that the FCT Administration cannot afford to have a healthcare system that is affordable to only a few, “just as we cannot afford to have a health insurance scheme that is accessible to only a few”.
Speaking further Dr. Aliyu affirmed that the programme was a strategy for enhancing social inclusion, a demonstration of efforts to bring succour and hope to the poorest of the poor and vulnerable households, and a way to ensure that the FCT attains 100 per cent social health insurance coverage for all residents.
She revealed that the Administration has had various engagements with stakeholders in the health and social services sub-sectors at all levels and had developed a blueprint for positively touching the lives of all the residents of the FCT by way of a 5-year strategic plan , 2019 to 2023.
In her words, “It is for this reason that we developed a blueprint for positively touching the lives of all the residents of the FCT by way of a 5-year, 2019 to 2023, Strategic Plan. As you may recall, we commenced the implementation of the plan with the launching, on December 2nd, 2019, of the enrolment of all Area Council employees into the FCT Health Insurance Scheme to increase access to good quality health services, a necessary step towards achieving universal health coverage in the FCT.
“Efforts are now ongoing to ensure pregnant women and under five year old children in the FCT are covered by the Health Insurance Scheme to further expand access to good quality and timely health services to these vulnerable groups”.
While pledging full commitment to the equity funding for the programme to ensure its success, she also reiterates the FCTA’s commitment to not only sustain the programme, but to ensure that the programme is replicated in the remaining five Area Councils of the territory.
In his remarks, the Director FCT Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Ahmed Danfulani, revealed that the enrollees of the programme would enjoy a very robust service package almost equal to the formal sector package, including an opportunity for referral to secondary care facilities and major surgeries.
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