No fewer than 1,300 beneficiaries in Zaria, Kaduna State, are being enrolled under the Group, Individual and Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP) by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
NHIS Executive Secretary Mohammed-Nasir Sambo disclosed this at the launch of the GIFSHIP tagged “2021 Constituency Project in Zaria’’ at the Emir’s Palace in Zaria on Thursday.
He said that beneficiaries of the programme, who would be drawn from the vulnerable segment of the population and those who could not afford health insurance, would enjoy free healthcare services for two years.
Mr Sambo explained that the measure was to enhance enrollment into health insurance schemes, especially in the non-formal sector of the economy.
He noted that the federal government had made budgetary provision to ensure that the vulnerable were covered through health insurance to reduce their hardship in accessing health care.
The executive secretary, who said that the NHIS Constituency would be extended to cover all parts of the country, called for collaboration with states, local councils and philanthropists to extend the project beyond the stipulated two years.
He added that the Basic Health Care Fund would also provide more funds to the state governments to complement efforts toward providing improved access to healthcare services to the vulnerable in the society.
He added that “last year, NHIS gave Kaduna State Government N500 million to provide basic health to the vulnerable in the state.
“But the constituency initiative is a special programme introduced by NHIS to augment the health care hardship being faced by our community members. I therefore deem it fit to commence from my hometown, Zaria.’’
In his response, the Emir of Zazzau, Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, said there could not be a better initiative that would bring succour to the vulnerable than providing them access to free health care services.
While applauding the initiative, the emir thanked the executive secretary for launching
the programme in his home town and urged all illustrious sons of Zazzau emirate to emulate the gesture to improve the lives of the people.
The emir tasked local council chairmen in the emirate to key into the scheme by sponsoring additional people and helping to extend the time frame to cover at least five years of free services.