Why make the state’s health insurance scheme mandatory when some residents are already under the NHIS?
For those contributing to the NHIS, we are not going to force them to join us as it might create unnecessary problems out there. We are going to focus on the people who don’t have at all. And most of the people contributing are in the formal sector because it is easier to get their contribution.
How do you intend to take care of those in the informal sector, since they are not on salary?
The pay is flexible, but if an enrollee fails to contribute on time, it is going to affect other people. If you want to pay monthly or quarterly, there are provisions for that. We have to be reasonably sure that enrollees will pay or else they would be cheating other people. After breakdown, the entire amount went to as low as N500 per person per month. This is so because we do not want a situation where a person has to fall ill before visiting the health facility or paying his/her premium. Doing so would defeat the whole essence of the scheme.
What becomes of residents of rural and riverine communities, who do not have public and private healthcare facilities in their domain?
We have about 120 wards in the state with no public primary healthcare facilities at all. We also know that our budget can’t cover all those places because of many things we need to do. In those communities, there are private facilities and there is a payment scheme in the works, at least when they provide services to the people, the healthcare providers are sure of getting paid, which is what the insurance scheme is going to ensure.