President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Health Insurance Scheme, FHIS, to make health insurance a compulsory for all Abuja residents.
This was disclosed by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, when he received the FHIS Director, Dr Ahmed Danfulani and his management team, who were at the FCTA to present the Working Documents of the Scheme.
A statement by Bello’s Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye quoted the Minister as saying the FHIS management should ensure that the Scheme succeeds in the territory because “payment for health services all at once either by individuals or even the government is no longer tenable, considering the ever-increasing cost of medical services especially for diseases such as cancer or orthopaedic procedures.”
In Bello’s words: “The mandate given to us by President Muhammadu Buhari is to widen the coverage of health insurance in the FCT and the mandate I am giving you is to ensure that every citizen in the FCT, either in the formal or informal sector, is covered.
“You have to work out a system so that can cover certain diseases. If, for instance, someone is diagnosed with cancer, how can he or she pay for it? Cancer treatment, even the medication alone or chemotherapy alone, costs a lot of money not to talk of radiotherapy or surgery for some orthopaedic cases.”
The Minister encouraged the FHIS team to also work out ways in which “enrollees” under the Scheme should have the option of paying more for wider coverage.
Also he advised them to improve their services and grow the Scheme based on sound business practices, financial management and a robust ICT infrastructure.