Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed on Thursday launched the Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme (KHIS), making it compulsory for all residents.
Speaking at the event in Ilorin, Ahmed called on residents to register and take advantage of the statewide scheme to access affordable healthcare delivery in the state.
He maintained that the launching had taken the state closer to achieving the dream of universal health coverage by making the scheme compulsory to all citizens and residents.
Ahmed disclosed that an initial N200 million had been set aside as the state’s capitalization of KHIF to ensure the scheme is well funded.
The governor noted that the state would be contributing one per cent of the annual Consolidated Revenue Fund to subsidise premiums and service delivery to those considered part of the poorest in the society.
He also said that 40 per cent of the funds were received through the “Saving One Million Lives Performance for Results Initiative”—an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Health.
The programme, which was being supported by the World Bank, would also be part of the fund for the KHIS.
“I have no doubt that this scheme is primed for success not only because it is guaranteed to be sustainable, well-funded and well managed, but also because it will leverage digital technology to promote efficiency, and transparency,” Ahmed said.
He said the Kwara Health Insurance Law also provides for the establishment of the Kwara Health Insurance Fund.
“KHIF will pool resources from various sources including premium contribution from residents, the State Government subsidy for the very poor, multi-lateral grants, donations, support from the Federal Government and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS),” added.
In his remarks, the Deputy Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr Michel Deelen promised that the Dutch government would strengthen its partnership with the Kwara Government to achieve universal health coverage in the state.
Also speaking, the Lead Health Sector Specialist and Head of the World Bank Group’s Health in Africa Initiative, Prof. Khama Rogo announced that over $4 million had been earmarked to strengthen the state’s healthcare service delivery.
Rogo, who noted that many African leaders wanted to carry out health insurance scheme without success, described the scheme as a restoration of dignity to the people.
In his address, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Yusuf Usman promised to partner the state to guarantee the success of the scheme.
The Executive Secretary, Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme, Dr Bunmi Jetawo-Winter explained that the scheme was a well thought-out and carefully planned scheme to ensure affordable and accessible health care service delivery across the state.
She added that residents that enrol for the scheme would pay N25 premium per day.