MEDIA Officers across the FCT have advised on the need for extensive sensitisation of residents on the benefits of health insurance scheme to reduce out of pocket spending.
The call was made on Thursday at the FCT Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS) stakeholders engagement, with the media and information sector association.
Dr Ahmed Danfulani, the Director (FHIS) said no matter all efforts the agency was doing to ensure people enrolled for the scheme, the media was key to its functions.
He said that the media was already in touch with the people, and that the scope of the media was wider than whatever scope the agency could cover.
According to him, “we believe that with the media, we can pass the message about health insurance to all nooks and crannies of the FCT and Nigeria at large”.
Danfulani said that the only way to go anywhere in the world, especially in achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was to ensure that everybody was insured.
He said that spending out of pocket, also known as “Out of Pocket Spending” for health issues, was not allowed, stressing that no one knew when his or her health could pose as a challenge.
According to him, instead of running around looking for money, selling one’s properties when the health is posing as a challenge, with meagre amount, one could access the FHIS for the whole year.
He called on FCT residents not to allow the stress of looking for huge money to take care of their health, to push them into poverty, but to embrace the FHIS with meagre spending.
Danfulani further said that the agency was taking a lot of steps to ensure that all residence of FCT enrolled on FHIS without leaving anyone behind.
“All staff of the FCT administration are already on this scheme, the area council staff are also not left behind, we are already engaging the market women, the traders, Okada riders and most of the informal sector.
“On the school health insurance, we have started engaging the University students, polytechnic and others; we are not leaving anyone behind.
“Very soon, we are going to develop our own community based health insurance scheme which is going to ensure that nobody, no matter the strength of your finance, you will be able to buy one form of insurance or another from us,” he said.
Mrs Moji Makanjuola, the Executive Director, International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH), charged media officers to make themselves a role model in pushing for health insurance.
According to her, the media must make themselves the voice of the voiceless in telling people everything about health insurance.
She said that health insurance was crucial to life, and that Nigeria’s life expectancy way one of the lowest globally, stressing that media must be involved in the planning stage.
Makanjuola called on the media to deliver right information to the people about health insurance, adding that media were gate keepers and collective trackers of progress and not silos.
Dr Abubakar Tafida, Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), pointed out that the FCT administration is making progress on its health indices.
Tafida, who was represented by Dr Ibrahim Abubakar, Director, Health, Planning, Research and Statistics, stated that the target of the administration was to meet up with UHC as part of the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).
Dr Lola Maboguje, a member of the Senior Citizens, also called on the media and other stakeholders to ensure that the vulnerable in the FCT were registered for the scheme.
She said “we must move people forward, I am also committed about maternal healthcare issues, we must be committed to the poor, especially those ones in Abuja”. (NAN)