* Score agency high
Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin
Kwara State First Lady, Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq, has applauded the
Kwara State Health Insurance
Agency for securing the needed support of all stakeholders for improved outcomes in the state’s health sector, saying she’s proud to identify with the agency’s laudable activities as well as the health programmes of the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The First Lady spoke in Ilorin, the state capital, at the meeting of stakeholders in the health sector on strengthening healthcare financing to lessen the burden of healthcare on the vulnerable and indigent population.
Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq
appreciated the service providers and sponsors as well as other relevant stakeholders for their collaborative efforts, urging them to always be on the same page with the state health insurance agency for positive results.
She said: “I am proud to identify with the laudable activities of Kwara State Health Insurance Agency and by extension the health programmes of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration. I am aware of your efforts in ensuring that more people are carrying along in agency’s activities. More people are now keying into the health insurance scheme. I am also proud of your intervention in the Kwara State School for Special Needs.”
Stakeholders, at the meeting organised by the Kwara State Health Insurance Agency, stressed the need to strengthen advocacy on attracting more sponsors for the indigent population and promote access to subsidised healthcare services across the state to achieve universal health coverage.
Speaking with newsmen on the sideline of the meeting, the Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Health Insurance
Agency, Dr. Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter, disclosed that the agency has over 70,000 enrollees in the list of its healthcare service providers.
“In September 2020, the programme officially kicked off, the agency had 10,000 enrollees but now we have about 70,000 people enrolled in health insurance. That is even without the formal sector. When the civil servants come on board, we are looking at additional 200,000 people”, she said.
Dr Jetawo-Winter, who said financing health insurance was expected to come from different stakeholders including the government and sponsors, explained that subsidising health care services would go along way in ensuring that people have access to affordable healthcare delivery.
“As it stands in Kwara now, we have about 30 percent population who falls under poverty index and who are really poor. We need to subsidise them and this is where these invaluable sponsors come in because they go in to their communities or catchment areas and mob up these indigents who ordinarily we have not gotten to because the physical space for financing the poor is limited and these people have to be covered and renewed on a yearly basis.
“So, these sponsors come in, pick up the population of people and pay on their behalf so they can have access to quality and affordable healthcare services,” she said.
Jetawo-Winter also explained that the agency started with about 25 healthcare providers both in public and private hospitals but today the number has increased to about 60 of them providing health services across the 16 local governments.
Some of the participants who spoke at the meeting relived the success stories of the scheme, while also identifying various challenges and proffering the way forward.