Health insurance comes with a huge benefit ranging from the provision of access to quality, accessible and affordable healthcare for all residents of CRS, to protecting all from financial hardship associated with huge medical bills as well as minimizing out of pocket expenses at the point of accessing care with a standard and improved healthcare services for all. This is the vision and drive of Sen Prof Ben Ayade when he signed the Health insurance bill into law in 2016. 5 years down history is made as the AyadeCare has finally started enrollment.

At the Flagging of the enrollment into the Cross River State Health Insurance Scheme and BHCPF the Executive Governor of CRS Sen Prof Ben Ayade called on all cross riverians to take advantage of this scheme and get registered while calling on political elites to bear the responsibility of registering their constituents who are less to do. In his words; “As a leader I want to put to an end that crying child who can’t sleep everyday and night due to pains because the Mother can’t afford medical bills, I can’t pride myself as a Governor when my people are dying because of illnesses that a thousand naira can cure. Health remains the first, second and even the third before anything else. As a people centered government we must ensure transparency and accountability of these funds through the use of a third party trusty devoid of any political affiliations who will manage this fund. We’ll be the first State to use Drones to supply drugs across the State especially in the hard to reach areas under the scheme. I was the first to register and donate 20m for registration of 1666 vulnerable people in my Village. Let the healthy ones pay for the sick ones, the stronger ones pay for the weaker ones, the rich pay for the poor. That’s what makes us humans.”

Speaking, The Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu thanked Sen Prof Ben Ayade for his support, visions, innovations and industrialization especially in the health sector In 2016 when the Governor signed the bill into law, his biggest dream was to provide quality health care to Cross Riverians at little or no cost. Today that dream is finally a reality! She applauded Prof Sambo and the federal government of Nigeria for their support and efforts to provide Basic Health Care Provision Fund. “Today is the beginning of a revolution in the health sector in CRS. In Governors words, “there’s no religion better than a stronger brother providing his shoulder for his weaker brother to lean on. There’s nothing more painful and dehumanizing than watching your child die because you can’t afford basic health care. Universal Health Coverage is the new hope, the new currency and the new future as Gov Ben Ayade is providing that for his people.

“State Health Insurance Scheme will provide care and succor for the poor, the aged, the less privilege and the vulnerable, with 12,000 in a year you can have access to that 5m health care service. The most Beautiful part of this Insurance is the innovative touch of humane succor which will be the first of its kind in Nigeria. With no money you can walk into health facilities to access care. To support this process our Primary and Secondary facilities have been renovated and equipped with some new ones built. I call on all health workers to put in their best to provide these services to cross riverians, let me specially thank Gov Ben Ayade again for the innovation of the cloth face mask given during the COVID-19 era to Nigeria and even the World, your support to the health sector will not be forgotten, While thanking Prof Sambo for all the support, we appeal for more technical support, vehicles, financial support, etc to keep this scheme going. A big Thanks to all our partners, health workers and all stakeholders. Action is now!!!!

The Director General of the Cross River State Health Insurance Agency, Sir Godwin Iyala stated that the program is to address healthcare challenges in the State aimed at providing a functional medical insurance cover. “With N12,000 only at N1,000 per month, you have access to all kinds of healthcare services for a whole year and there will be no other hidden charges” .

The Executive Secretary NHIS Prof Mohammed N. Sambo commended the State Governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade for his innovative ideas in the health sector while applauding Dr Edu for her efforts towards the massive transformation of the CRS health sector, he praised the State for being the first in the Country to embark on this form of health insurance as he assured us of massive and timely support. The DG CRSPHCDA Dr Janet Ekpenyong and the Chairman House Committee on Health Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey on their part called on cross riverians to take advantage of this opportunity by going out in numbers to register/enroll for this Scheme as the benefits are too numerous to be neglected.

Highlight of the flag off event was the official enrollment of Sen Ben Ayade and other dignitaries, official handing over of a 14 seaters Hiace Bus donated by Sen Prof Ben Ayade to the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) CRS branch calling on Doctors and all health workers to support the Scheme. Itinerary for the commencement of mass enrollment is 15th of March, starting with Calabar Municipal Council, Biase and Obudu LGAs. Tuesday 16th will be for Calabar South, Abi and Obanliku LGAs, while the 17th is scheduled to attend to Akpabuyo, Yakurr and Bekwarra LGAs. Bakassi, Obubra and Ogoja will cue on 18th; Odukpani, Ikom and Yala Local Government Areas are for 19th, while 20th will capture Akamkpa, Etung and Boki. after this other enrollment sites will be communicated.

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