Niger State Governor and Chairman North Central States Governor’s Forum (NCSGF), Abubakar Sani Bello has decried the low level patronage by Nigerlites into the State Contributory Healthcare Scheme.
The Governor stated this while receiving a report/presentation of the end of year review and performance of the State Primary Healthcare Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bello, who blamed the low level of patronage of the scheme to lack of adequate awareness, also believed that people are somewhat cynical because they do not have confidence in the system because, when they pay for premium services they don’t get value for their money.
He, however, expressed hope that when people begin to enjoy the benefits, more and more will register adding that the whole scheme is relatively new to the people unlike elsewhere in the world where it is fully operational and even mandatory.
The Governor expressed hope that the health insurance scheme will pickup in the state stressing that it was the only way that the hospitals will be properly maintained and sustainable in the long term.
Governor Sani Bello acknowledged that the health sector requires huge investment and lots of resources stressing that the solution is to ensure that the system fully integrates the healthcare system and fund it adequately.
He assured that the state government will continue to engage and fulfill its obligations to development partners and donors especially with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Governor commended the Ministry of Health and the Primary Healthcare Development Agency who stood firm and ensured that the state government succeeds in the execution of the primary health care policies.
Earlier, the state Commissioner of Health and Hospital Services, Dr. Mohammed Makusidi enumerated the countless achievements and successes recorded by the state government through the partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He acknowledged the proactiveness and support of Governor Sani Bello stressing that the Governor’s commitment and passion are some of the criteria and prerequisite the partners and donors look at before they oblige to support any state or country.
In his presentation, the Executive Director of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Ibrahim Dangana visually corroborate the achievements of the state government by the Honourable Commissioner of Health stressing that government took a giant stride by entering the MoU.
He said the MoU, which ran between 2017 to 2021, was aimed at strengthening government health sector stewardship and leadership, reduce out of pocket health expenditure with the establishment of the insurance scheme, improve availability of skilled manpower and access to quality as well as affordable health products with the establishment of the state Drugs Management Agency amongt others.
Chief Press Secretary
to the Governor of Niger State.