The Delta State government has enrolled at least 25, 000 victims at the 12 camps of internally displaced persons in the state into its contributory health insurance scheme.
This development allows enrollees to access any of the 500 accredited healthcare facilities nearest to them even after leaving the camps within the next year for their medical needs.
Director General of the state Contributory Health Commission, Dr Ben Nkechika, who disclosed this at a joint press conference with the Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, in Asaba at the weekend said the premium of N7,000 for the package would be paid for by the state government.
He said the state government was providing health insurance to the flood victims because their means of livelihood have been eroded by the ravaging flood noting that the commission would continue to render services at the camps as the flood recedes.
Dr. Nkechika noted that the government would settle the bills of the displaced persons who seek health services for one year even after leaving the camps.
According to him, “The Commission is an agency of government established to implement the mandatory Delta State Contributory Health Scheme which is a health care financing programme geared towards ensuring access to quality health care services for all residents of Delta state.
“The programme started in January 2017 and to date, we have over 1.2 million enrollees which are the highest in the country.
“The scheme is powered by 500 health facilities both government and private health care facilities accredited to provide health services under the scheme.
“Part of our mandate is meeting the health needs of people and we are currently faced with a situation where some people have been displaced as a result of the flood and they are largely going to have economic challenges which have affected their ability to have quality health care.
“They have lived in very rural communities and we are registering them into the scheme through an electronic process for the family of three; father mother, and children.
“We issue them with an identity card and with that, they are able to refer them from an IDP camp to any of the public or private health care facilities for more care beyond what the camp can provide.
“All of this service is going to be done through the Delta State Contributory Health Commission and the premium would be paid for by the state government and it means they would be attended to free of charge for one year at any of the hospitals they are referred to even when they go back to their homes.”
Speaking further, he noted, “the biggest challenge to accessibility of health care for most poor people is affordability because we have seen situations where one medical challenge can wipe out a family’s earnings before the health condition is beyond what they can pay for.
“So this programme is designed to ensure that access is available to all people. Our strategy is to ensure that wherever you are in Delta you should be able to have access to quality health services.
“The premium is just N7,000 per annum which is subsidized by the state government for those who can afford to pay but for those who cannot, the government pays for them under the equity health plan.
“We also have funding from the federal government under the basic health care provision fund which we add to our equity health plan to provide free health care services to all vulnerable people in Delta State.”