Niger Govt to establish health insurance scheme

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The Niger Government on Friday said it would establish Contributory Social Health Insurance Scheme to provide affordable and quality healthcare services in the state.

Dr Mustapha Jibril, the state Commissioner for Health, told newsmen in Minna that the proposed Bill would target both the public and private sectors.

“A memo to establish Niger State Contributory Social Health Insurance Scheme has been approved by the State Executive Council to ensure affordable and quality healthcare for the people,’’ he said.

Jibril said that the move to present the health bill before the State House of Assembly became necessary as affordable and quality healthcare was the right of the people.

“The government came up with the scheme because many people find it difficult to pay for quality healthcare services.
Through the scheme our people can afford to pay their hospital bills,’’ he said.

He said under the scheme civil servants and public officers, including political appointees, in the state would contribute 2.5 per cent, while the state government would match it with another 2.5 per cent to accommodate the formal sector.

The commissioner said that government would also contribute one per cent of its annual consolidated revenue fund to the scheme to cater for the less privileged.

Besides, he said the bill would cover pregnant women, children under five years, people with disability, surgery, routine immunisation and family planning services, among others.

Jibril said that the document, which would soon be forwarded to the legislature, has stakeholders such as the state government, Nigeria Labour Congress and Nigeria Union of Teachers. (NAN)

Biola Lawal

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