Contributory Healthcare Scheme Kano Records Over 350,000 Registered Beneficiaries

Posted by:Abubakar Dundu

Stakeholders commend Kano state government under Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for his unrelenting commitment towards improving the health care delivery system, through pro-poor policies and proper implementation of same. With the establishment of Kano State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (KSCHMA).

Representatives from the National Health Insurance Scheme, development  partners from Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH2), Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn/Accountable, Responsive and Capable (PERL ARC), Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and EXARO Enterprises Solutions, made good use of the platform and encourage Ganduje to sustain the initiative.

The Executive Secretary of KSCHMA Dr Halima Muhammad Mijinyawa disclosed that there are over 358,000 civil servants and their dependants that were registered with the scheme. While over 239 accredited public and private health care facilities are participating in the scheme for the provision of qualitative services.

Not only civil servants, the scheme also considers those working with private organisations. A framework was developed for the inclusion of vulnerable, with the singular intent of enrolling indigent residents of the state.

All the disclosures were made during an Appraisal Session on the performance of the scheme in the last couple of months, that was held at Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano, Wednesday. 

The session was led by governor Ganduje with his Deputy, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, Secretary to the State Government, Head of Service, Chief of Staff, alongside other top government functionaries. And royal fathers graced the occasion. 

The agency was established on 17th August, 2016. But because of the lenient mind and human face approach of governor Ganduje, deductions from workers salary started from May 2018 and access to services started from 1st April, 2018. Enough time was given to allow for the setting and consolidation of all operational guidelines.

As other development partners at the event displayed their satisfaction with the process and how committed they believe the state government is, a few challenges were identified. Which to them were normal for any meaningful strategy that aimed at providing such services to the citizenry.

Even private health practitioners from private health facilities, commend the effort, as being directed towards improving the quality of health services in the state.

To show his committed commitment and determined determination to the scheme, Ganduje observed that any society that has big population size is vulnerable to so many variables. In that he reiterated that, "Leaders must take two important sectors very seriously for genuine human development. These are education and health. But not at the expense of other sectors."

He further employs SWOT analysis approach for exhostive deliberation at the appraisal meeting and beyond. He specifically mentioned that, "We are here to deliberate and have a clear grasp of our Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT). I am delighted to see that almost all critical stakeholders are here with us."

To the governor, strong areas must wax stronger and be improved, weak points must be rerouted and redirected to adequately be addressed, areas that are seen, understood and examined to be windows of opportunities, must also be utilised within the confines of global best practices and anything seen as a threat must be cleared away.

"What informed our decision right from day one, was the thinking that health care delivery system was becoming near impossible to the majority of our people. I then sat down and said we just have to come up with a scheme where medical services could be affordable. We then started the dialogue with the Nigeria Labour Congress," he referred.

Continuing that, "After the good understanding showed by the labour union, we also included other stakeholders in our consultations. All in an effort to have effective and efficient strategy as our scheme. After all the discussions we sent a Bill to the State House of Assembly. And because we share similar feeling, the Bill was passed and I later assented to it to become a Law. This is the position of things at hand now."

He commended the labour leaders and the followership and the State Assembly for the job well done during the formative stage of the then Bill, which later became the law establishing the Agency.

To ensure the workability, feasibility and whether the new approach is doable, the state government makes a gigantic step to make sure that all traditional institutions in the state are carried along. Even during the appraisal meeting, all Emirs of Bichi, Karaye, Rano and Gaya were present at the occasion. While the Emir of Kano sent in representative.

He expressed his delight that Kano was described by all the stakeholders present at the event that, Kano has the best scheme across the country, emphasising that, "Many states were in Kano to copy and implement in their states. This is a wonderful achievements, which needs to be commended by all of us."

Ganduje assured that his administration is committed to continue developing human resources in the health sector. He gave an example of Doctors, Pharmacists, Lab Scientists, health administrators and other hands in the sector. 

Revealing further that, his administration is also concentrating on tertiary health care institutions. While a plan for the establishment of Community Promotion Council was in top gear, which would purposely include traditional institutions for effective and down-to-earth health care delivery system, at a further reloaded status. 

The Emir of Bichi, Aminu Ado Bayero, who spoke on behalf of all the Emirs in the state assured government of their continued and unrelenting support to the scheme and all other government policies for the overall development of the state. 

Emir Bayero called on people to always see wisdom in the scheme and other similar schemes and policies, adding that, "People should begin to understand that, their cooperation and support is always needed for government policies to succeed."

Dr Adekunle Adekoye who represented private health facilities and practitioners assured that, "This is one of the greatest achievements of this administration. Health care financing faces critical challenges, even at the global level. That is why strategies are evolved to take care of this aspect. This is where Kano state government comes in and join the global effort in addressing this."

He continued, "The system is working very well in Kano, which suggests that other states should come and copy from Kano. The Agency is doing well. It is doing the needful in the implementation of this laudable programme. The programme is helping the quality assurance of the entire health care delivery system."

In his submission the Chairman of the Kano State Chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Kabiru Ado Minjibir commended the governor and the State House of Assembly for the establishment of the contributory scheme agency. 

Minjibir particularly thanked governor Ganduje that,  "We have to commend him for taking all our troubles during the discussions about the scheme. We were able to made all the needed noise and he had the large heart to accommodate us." 

NLC Chairman said, before they arrived at a point of convergence, they had to push the state government, to first committed the sum of Two Hundred Million Naira (N200m) as a take-off grant for the new scheme. NLC, according to Comrade Minjibir, commends Ganduje for that.

"We put in place monitoring committee to supervise the implementation of the scheme. It is a huge success base on our monitoring and evaluation. Though we saw some challenges here and there. But we called on the state government to address them.  

Challenges like not making it as a 24hr service scheme and disrespectful behaviour of some of the health care workers to beneficiaries, among others. But we thank Allah because the governor has assured us that all the challenges would be faced squarely," said NLC Chairman. 

According to him, because of the quick progression of the scheme across all the 44 local government areas of the state, NLC Monitoring Team would extend their supervision to all the 44 local governments.