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Health Insurance: Ogun pays premium for 70,000 residents

 The Ogun government says 70,000 people will enjoy free access to healthcare for one year under its health insurance scheme.
Dr. Afolabi Dosunmu, Executive Secretary of the Ogun State Health Insurance Agency (OGSHIA), made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abeokuta.
Dosunmu said in addition to paying their premiums, registered patients would also access the free surgical intervention announced by Gov. Dapo Abiodun in January.
He disclosed that over 1000 surgeries had been performed since the beginning of March, adding that the number of patients who thronged the facilities for the screening exceeded the expected average.
He noted that some patients who could not get their surgeries done immediately were referred to another level of care to be operated on at a later date for various reasons.
“The governor had instructed us to enroll 70,000 people for free medical care, but he insisted that we gather people that need one surgical intervention or another, and that’s how we started that journey.
“Of course, there’s a process; when you get there, they enroll you on insurance; you see a doctor who screens you and looks to see if that surgery can be done now or later.
“There are some people with high blood pressure, some with high blood sugar, and other conditions, and of course we can’t do surgeries for those ones, but they’ll get it done at a later date because they already have our card,” he said.
Dosunmu, however, lamented that many prospective or referred patients refused to collect their insurance, which is their guarantee for free medical and surgical services.
He urged patients who registered and were screened but were given later dates for their surgeries to visit the facility to collect their cards.
“We now have issues with the insurance card that we enrolled them with; a lot of people are not coming back, and we’ve started calling them, but they’ve not come back for those cards.
It is “because they don’t understand that it is by having those cards that they can be assured that the surgery will be done for them later.
“The card guarantees that for the next year, you get free medical and surgical treatment,” he added.
Dosunmu said the state government committed N900 million to state health insurance and free surgical intervention.
According to him, the intervention is basically aimed at eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for the vulnerable population and also achieving universal health coverage. (NAN)
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