By: Elijah Ugani; Health Correspondent
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), Cross River State Chapter who also doubles as the President of the National Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Products Workers (NUPPPROW), Comrade John Ushie has called on the State Government to release the 250 million naira seed fund meant for the implementation of the State Health Insurance Agency.
Ushie made the call at the sensitization workshop organized by the State Insurance Agency in collaboration with the USAID Health Financing and Governance for Health Workers and Stakeholders in the Cross River State.
His words, “When you want to start any project, you have to start something to really show that you are serious, for this scheme to really work, the State Governor has to release the seed fund he pronounced during the launch of the scheme to build confidence on the enrollees.
“It is not just an issue of asking people to come and enroll, Government needs to show commitment in all ramifications, we want that seed fund released. Wh111en this is done, we will be able to take a lift from Government action.
“We as an organized labor, we will do our best, we have been to Ogoja, Ikom with them and today we here as leaders and representatives of the organized labor, we are told now as against what we were earlier told that they want to start from us, I have made our stands as labor clear as possible, they need to have an interface with members of the various unions, the Nigerian Union of Teachers NUT, the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees NULGE and explain all these things to them, we will agree before any worker’s money is deducted, let the Government show us commitment.” He said.
On the industrial action embarked by the members of NUT, Ushie noted “Government is not keeping to its side of the bargain, we had advised the Government that promotion of staff should be done in phases as well as implementation of this promotions, now the arrears of these promotions have accumulated and workers are simply asking that their promotions and arrears be released.”
The workshop was held in the three Senatorial districts of the State.
The workshop brought together health workers and relevant stakeholders to be sensitized on the operation of the Health Insurance scheme called Ayade Care.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on License and Insurance, Chief Godwin Iyala stated the workshop is to train Healthcare providers of the ayade care.
Iyala noted that, “health insurance is coming new, it is important that the healthcare providers be in tune and how the scheme operates, we have to bring them together to explain Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
“They have received series of lectures ranging from, Universal Health Coverage, quality assurance, ICT movement, monitoring and evaluation and a host of other things needed for the effective implementation of the scheme.” He said.
On his part, the State Program Coordinator of USAID Health Financing and Governance, Mr. Ibiam Azu noted that “The USAID Health Financing and Governance is very passionate about this project, and so we are working round the clock to ensure its realization, and so I urge you to put in your very best to give the Insurance scheme the best attention it deserves.”
Continuing, Azu said that “Health Insurance is the vehicle for making progress towards achieving Universal Health Coverage, participants be committed to the call to service and take ownership of the process. Our people are desirous of our service, and we have no excuse than to deliver on our expectations as Healthcare providers and Stakeholders in this State.
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