By Kingsley Agim
Cross River State Governor, Senator (Prof.) Ben Ayade, Tuesday, 9 March, 2021, reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensuring accessible, quality and affordable healthcare for all Cross Riverians.
Governor Ayade, who gave the assurance during the official flag-off of enrollment into the State Health Insurance Scheme at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, charged the Cross River state Health Insurance Agency (CRSHIA), “to cater to the vulnerables particularly in terms of their healthcare because you must be people centred.”
He urged the citizenry and corporate organisations to key into the scheme, saying: the goal of his administration was to take healthcare to all parts of the state, including the hard to reach areas where drones would be used to distribute drugs.
“As a government, I am conscious of the fact that we have 196 wards. I have a challenge of providing 196 vehicles that will be responsible for the management, movement of men and materials across each ward to ensure that anybody who is sick will have access to the primary health care centre. I therefore call on all public spirited individuals and corporate organisations to please come to the aid of Cross River, to use the State as a model where even the poor, those who have zero income have insurance”, Ayade said
The Cross River State Governor stressed that with enrollment into the Health Insurance Scheme with just N1000, the people of the State can now access quality health care.
“This insurance programmes are geared towards those who have no income. So for you to be zero income earner and still have medical attention that can attract the cost of 5 million or 10 million or above, shows the commitment, the will, and the might of kindness of our administration.
“I call on every single resident of Cross River to enrol into the scheme. Go to our Primary Health Care Agency or to our main Ministry and register,“ he admonished.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Muhammed Nasir Sambo commended the Cross River State Government for keying into the NHIS Scheme, saying the state could now benefit from the grant available to States that have commenced the enrollment.
“We are pleased to report that the scheme has commenced implementation of this statutory assignment with the disbursement of 6.5billion naira to 15 States and the FCT, which fulfills the requirements for inclusion. I am happy to note that Cross River State, having successfully met the conditions, is today flagging-off the commencement of enrollment, opening a window of succour and new possibilities for the people of this great State,” the NHIS boss said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director-General of Cross River State Health Insurance Agency (CRSHIA), Chief Godwin Iyala commended the Governor for his foresight and health friendly policies, describing the commencement of the enrollment as “yet another historic milestone in His Excellency’s quest for good health for our people.”
Iyala assured that his Agency would be embarking on an aggressive enrollment drive to see that all Cross Riverians are captured in the Scheme.
The flag-off ceremony also featured a plethora of goodwill messages from partners and stakeholders, all lending support and applauding the birth of health revolution in Cross River State.
Governor Ayade had earlier unveiled a befitting new office for the Cross River Health Insurance Agency, located at 5, Bishop Moynagh Avenue, State Housing Estate, Calabar.