The Katsina state governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, on Saturday tasked the management of National Health Insurance Scheme-NHIS to carry out aggressive advocacy campaign to create the needed awareness level of its activities and for the people to understand its programme properly.
Alhaji Masari who was speaking when he received the Executive secretary of the scheme, Professor Usman Yusuf during a courtesy call at government house, said the scheme, laudable as it is, could be misunderstood by the people as insurance affects the sensibilities of Muslims in general.
The governor was however happy with the performance of a staff of NHIS who volunteered to educate people from some communities in Danja local government area, on the advantages of the scheme, which he said encouraged acceptance and participation.
He said’’ the state government in collaboration with the state house of assembly, state chapter of Nigeria labor Congress NLC, Medical and Health Workers Union and others, to closely come up with a bill for an Agency to replicate NHIS in the state’’.
‘’ The new agency will no doubt reduce problems of seeking for donations for patients to buy drugs prescribed for them by Doctors in clinics and hospitals’’.
Earlier in a remark, the Executive secretary of NHIS, Professor Usman Yusuf said the National Health Bill has been assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari. He added that the bill had provided for one percent of realizable federal revenue to be expended on the health sector.
Of the amount, he said five percent is secondary, forty five percent for primary healthcare while fifty percent is for the NHIS, stressing that although the scheme had been characterized by failures in the past, everything is being done to turn round the fortunes of NHIS.
Professor Yusuf said he was part of the restoration agenda setting of the Masari led government even before the 2015 general elections and expressed happiness that the governor had started implementing the agenda in the renovated and upgraded hospitals across the state.
He assured that before leaving Katsina, he will meet with relevant stakeholders to ensure the passage of the bill that would help the state to benefit from NHIS programmes.
He announced the opening of a new zonal NHIS office in Kano to take care of Kano, Jigawa and Katsina States.