Cross River Distributes Health Insurance Cards To Civil Servants
Eme Offiong, Calabar
Public and Civil Servants registered under the Cross River State Health Insurance Scheme have received their identity cards designed to enhance access to affordable medical services.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, said that the insurance policy was essential to achieve universal health coverage and strengthen the sector.
“This is long overdue, but we are grateful to God that today we are integrating the formal sector into the health insurance scheme. The insurance scheme will enable Cross River achieve universal health coverage in that we will employ more hands – more doctors, nurses and expand our infrastructure.”
Health Sector Financing
According to the commissioner, the occasion tagged, Access to Care for the Formal Sector of the State Health Insurance Scheme, would translate to funding for the sustenance of the health sector.
“It is important that we have public and civil servants contribute one thousand naira monthly and the beauty of the scheme is that the money is deducted from source. We need the buy-in of the workers to ensure that there is sustainable financing to service the health sector.
“It is key because we will not be over dependent on government funding to provide the human resources needed, ensure there are adequate medicines and infrastructure maintenance. We had started enrolment several months ago and it is expected that 90 days af]ter, they should begin to access care and are at the level of access to care.”
Affordable Quality Care
Also speaking, the Director General, Cross River State Health Insurance Agency, Sir Godwin Iyala, said that the insurance translates to savings for the government workforce because the monthly insurance cost of one thousand naira monthly was affordable.
Iyala explained that to make healthcare accessible, 36 secondary medical facilities have been selected for the implementation of the scheme across the 18 council areas and the facilities are ready to offer quality accessible healthcare to the people of Cross River State.
While officially flagging off the distribution of insurance cards to workers, the Cross River Head of Service, Mr. Timothy Akwaji, described the scheme as having the potential to transform the health sector, noting that this had to do with affordable medical care to civil servants. Besides affordability, the sectorial infrastructure, medical supplies and medicines as well as additional workforce would transform the sector positively.
Akwaji commended the Nigeria Labour Congress for supporting government’s effort to provide quality accessible healthcare to the citizens especially workers. “I commented the NLC for collaborating with the office of the Head of Service, Ministry of Health and the Health Insurance Agency to make the implementation of this policy a reality for workers.”