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Niger to introduce Contributory Health Scheme

By Mary Jalingo

The Niger State Ministry of Health has disclosed that all is set for the introduction of the state’s Contributory Health Scheme. The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Makusidi Mohammed, who disclosed this, said the scheme was aimed at reducing out of pocket expenditure and bringing healthcare service delivery to everybody with equity.

Dr Mohammed who stated this in an interview with Health Reporters, said it was pertinent to note that healthcare service delivery was capital intensive especially as sickness would not knock on one’s door when coming and at what intensity making budgeting for sickness  very challenging.

Dr. Makusidi Mohammed

He said the only way to address these challenge worldwide was having insurance scheme which he noted was at its final stage in the state, where they are now looking at the various sub – committees findings and expected challenges in implementing the scheme.

He said the state looking at its environment and culture decided to modified the insurance scheme to be known as contributory Health scheme in order to carry everybody a long knowing the importance of quality and affordable healthcare services to citizens.

Speaking on the premium which he said was the contribution that is to come from an enrollee/client, he stated that the state was proposing using a scientific approach as the contribution was a passive one.

The Permanent Secretary said taking into consideration the state government workforce of about 29,000 with an average salary take home of N40, 000, the committee proposed that each enrollee/client would pay 2.5 percent of its gross salary which was for the formal sector.

For the informal sector, he said looking at the various farm produces in the state, yam as the most common at an average of N150 per tube was used to cost what each household comprising of a father,  mother and four biological children would pay.

He said for the scheme to be sustainable, enrollees have to make contribution considering the mentality of Nigerians to abuse things that are given for free.

Dr Makusidi said enrollees both at the formal and informal sector would get the same services irrespective of the amount paid noting that the principle of the scheme was that those who have should help those in need and the healthy should help the sick.

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