By Peter Uwumarogie
The Gombe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (GoHealth) says it will enroll no fewer than 25, 565 poor and vulnerable persons, from across the state, for free healthcare services.
Dr Usman Abubakar, head of the agency’s technical group, stated this when he led a delegation to the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Gombe state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), on Friday.
Abubakar said GoHealth, which was established by law in 2019, had, as part of its mandate, the provision of quality health services, while minimizing the huge financial burden for the services.
He said the 25, 565 that would be enrolled would have their services paid for by the state government, as part of efforts to reduce poverty and improve their health status.
According to him, the agency will run four programmes under the scheme targeting civil servants, vulnerable and the poor, businessmen, artisans and students.
“ We have four programmes, formal (civil servants); informal (artisans and businessmen), equity programme (for the poor and vulnerable) and tertiary students’ health programme.”
He said that the equity programme, expected to cater for the poor and vulnerable, would soon begin registration to help those targeted to access health services.
Abubakar added that the overall idea of a contributory scheme in the state, as driven by the present administration was part of the state governor’s plans to improve the health status of citizens.
The contributory approach to health services in Gombe is borne out of the need to reduce the huge out-of-pocket spending, “this is not good for any society that wants to develop,” he added.
He said the idea of people going to health facilities without health cover was resulting in huge expenditures and pushing many persons into poverty.
“So our mandate is to ensure that all residents of the state are under a pre-payment plan in a way that when they fall sick they can access quality healthcare.
“ People will contribute some amount of money on their behalf, while they are healthy and when they fall sick they no longer have to run helter skelter to finance their expenses.”
Abubakar added that the state government and the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress were already working out modalities for the contributions to be made by civil servants, to be enrolled under the GoHealth scheme. (NAN)