By Elijah Ugani: Health Correspondent
In what seems to be a twist of events for the much publicised wide acceptance of the Cross River Health Insurance Scheme, the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has said it will resist any form of deduction.
The Cross River State Government had launched the scheme tagged ‘Ayadecare’ earlier this year with a minimum premium of NGN1,000 to be paid monthly.
But, the president of the Cross River State chapter of NULGE, Comrade Godwin Ayendi in an exclusive interview with CrossRiverWatch in his office said the planned 3 percent deduction from civil servants in the state for the health insurance scheme will be resisted by the union.
“We now hear that civil servants including our Union are to contribute 3 percent of our salaries for the health insurance scheme, as a Union, we find that very unacceptable,” Ayendi said.
He continued: “Any scheme that is designed for us requires our contributions. We have not had any dialogue with those running the scheme.
“As we speak, there is no invitation to NULGE, we now hear that NLC was invited for a buy-in and was told that we would contribute 3 percent. Without hearing it on radio and reading it on social media, we have not heard from them.
“We don’t know or understand the dynamics of operation of this scheme, we would resist any attempt to deduct our monies for that purpose.”
However, Ayendi commended the initiative and noted that: “To design a health insurance scheme for this part of the world is revolutionary, it is commendable, you will realize that Nigeria is operating without adequate provision for healthcare for the masses; that Senator Ben Ayade has come with a health insurance scheme is commendable.
“This union under my leadership will want to collaborate with the Governor to access timely and affordable healthcare especially during this economic crisis, our thinking is that effective health insurance scheme requires professionals and drugs should be available always, a situation that needs attention now, but our union is worried that the scheme has gone far, gone far in quote.”
On the law that established the Agency, the union leader averred that they have no idea about what the law is and they needed to have understand almost everything about the law.
Also, he posited that the union will first observe the successes of the scheme before it keys into it.
“As far as we are concerned this is supposed to be voluntary, for now, others should key into the scheme as we see how effective the scheme will be, we can key into it,” Ayendi said.
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