By OGEMDI OZOEMENAM, Awka
The people of Anambra state have been advised to enrol with Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA) to save themselves from high out-of-pocket expenditures that can potentially impoverish them while seeking quality healthcare services.
The Managing Director ASHIA, Dr Simeon Onyemaechi gave this charge at a Press Conference to mark the 2022 World Universal Health Coverage Day, which has as it’s theme “Build the world we want: A healthy future for all”.
The United Nations General Assembly in 2012 had endorsed a resolution that mandated countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage so that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality and affordable healthcare.
To achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030, Anambra state conceptualise the Adoption Model to help ASHIA tackle health insurance issues in the state and increase coverage of the informal sector within the Anambra state Health Insurance Scheme (ASHIS).
Dr Onyemaechi described the a
Adoption Model as a process where philanthropists and the wealthy in the society adopt and pay health insurance premium for the less-privileged and this has increased the total number of enrollee in the state’s health insurance pool to 180, 000.
“In our quest to attain universal health coverage in the state, we conceptualise the Adoption Model which increased coverage of informal sector enrollment and enhanced the financial resources of the agency.
“The model is targeted at a pool of public-spirited indigenes to pay annual premiums for a low-income and less privileged citizens thereby increasing the number of the informal sector and rural dwellers within the scheme while improving access to affordable and quality healthcare for all.
“There was also increased fund generation via the model as analysis in January shows that the adoption model generated approximately N780 million in the funding pool of the scheme.
“Again, over 180,000 persons enrolled in the scheme out of which 35% are from the informal sector, and almost 40% of that population initially came into the scheme through the Adoption Model.
“The World Health Organisation and the European Union have adjudged our scheme as the best performing informal sector health insurance scheme in Nigeria and eight states have understudied and replicated our model,” he said.
The premium for the state Health Insurance Scheme #12,000 per person annually for enrolees in the non-formal sector while those in Government employment is 5% the cost of their basic salary that will entitle them to be enroled, their spouse and four biological children below the ages of 21.
Also speaking, a Research Consultant with Health Policy Group, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Mrs Uche Ezenwaka observed that achieving universal health coverage requires appropriate health-seeking behaviour for improved health outcome.
According to her, the findings from a recent survey showed improvement in the health-seeking behaviour of enrollees in Anambra state.
“Our findings shows that before enrollment in the scheme, many persons patronised traditional healers, take concoction, self medicate while some did not even take action when they fall ill.
“But after enrollment, their health-seeking behaviour improved due to low cost of treatment, availability of quality drugs, health personnel as well as prompt and quality healthcare services at health facilities,” she said.