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Jigawa healthcare agency mulls tertiary insurance services

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Jigawa State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (JICHMA), says it is considering implementation of the tertiary health insurance programme and retiree enrollment into the scheme this year.

JICHMA’s Executive Secretary, Dr Nura Ibrahim, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Dutse.

“This year God-willing we hope to bring on board tertiary health insurance programme and retirees into our scheme. If we can safely bring them this year, I think we are covered,’’ he said.

Ibrahim said that the agency had perfected a tenure strategic plan insurance to enable it measure its performance within a specific period of time.

“We did a tenure strategic plan insurance, is a very big programme. It is something you can measure in one, two or three years, and that is why we are in the process of completing our tenure strategic development plan and in 10 years we will be able to measure exactly,’’ he said.

Ibrahim said the scheme’s benefit package had successfully covered more than 80 per cent of the prevailing illnesses and diseases in the state.

“About 80 to 90 per cent of diseases are covered under our benefit package, you only have between five and 10 per cent that are tertiary and we cannot cover, cancers. A person can consume N10 million, and we don’t have the resources to cover that, but at the secondary level we don’t have any problem,’’ Ibrahim said.

He said that the agency was doing a lot to make sure that service providers were giving the best services to their teeming clients, noting that facilities in the state are well equipped.

“We are now using 279 facilities in the basic care provisions fund, and under the public centre we have 182.

“We have about eight wards that don’t have a Primary Healthcare Centre, but we are trying to see how they will have their own.

“In Hadejia; we have only six due to the nature of the town, some wards do not have, we merged them with others so that we don’t deny the beneficiaries, they can access it in another facility close by. And in Gumel we have eight instead of 11, I think these are the only deficiencies that we have.,’’ he said.

Ibrahim said that in spite of the deficiencies the state government was doing greatly in the aspect of providing resources and equipment.

According to him, Jigawa is one of the leading states in the country with about 139 or 240 functional facilities.

He said that the state had deficiency of 39 or 40 facilities, adding that Gov. Badaru Abubakar had directed the primary healthcare agency and the Ministry of Health to present bill of quantities for the remaining health facilities that needed to be upgraded.

The executive secretary said that contract had been awarded for renovation and construction of the remaining 39 facilities.

“They have done greatly and that is why the state government equally hired midwives paid by the state but sent to local governments to work in order to bridge the gap of human resource.

“The state is doing greatly in terms of covering the deficiency of human resource and infrastructure.

“But whatever we do the population is expanding and the state is doing its best in trying to make sure that each local government has at least one general hospital and the policies are implemented, and it has to be in stages, you cannot do everything in a day,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the agency enrolled about 237,000 beneficiaries as at December 2021, as against less than 5,000 when it began operation on Oct. 2, 2019.

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