Stakeholders in information management in Cross River State, on Thursday sharply disagreed with the state’s government over its new health insurance scheme tagged ‘Ayadecare.’
The health insurance programme became operational after the state’s governor, Prof Ben Ayade; recently signed a bill to that effect into law, following its consideration by the state’s House of Assembly.
The new law, according to the state’s commissioner for health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, seeks to provide every resident in the state access to affordable and sustainable health care services, upon a subscription with the sum of one thousand (N1,000) naira only.
But, some stakeholders, comprising Journalists, Information Officers, Veteran Journalists among others, had during an orientation seminar for stakeholders in information management, organized by the state’s ministry of information, to brainstorm on the law, said it will not be sustainable in view of the current economic reality in Nigeria.
Even as the health commissioner took pains to respond to enquiries during the question and answer session, a cross section of the audience exclaimed ‘it will not work, it is not sustainable.’
Stunned by the development, Asibong said “This is expected. The reaction was expected.”
She, however, later on explained that the scheme will not only cater for the medical need of all residents in the state, but also engage in referral cases from primary to tertiary health facilities, where necessary.
Asibong argued that the scheme was designed in such a flexible way to accommodate vulnerable members in the society, who may not be able to afford the subscription fee.
According to her, “Those who can pay would pay, but those who cannot pay would be paid for.”
Earlier, the guest speaker at the occasion, Mr. James Abiona of JFK consult, urged Nigerians to discard the ‘blame game attitude’ in order to engender the desired change in Nigeria.
Reflecting on the theme ‘The can do spirit’, Abiona applauded the seminar organizers for the initiative, saying the change mantra should begin with information managers.
He harped on the importance of time management and entrepreneurship among Nigerians, adding that with the right mindset most Nigerians would attain greatness even without the academic world.