By Ibraheem Solahudeen.
It was with funfair that the Kwara state government led by Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq announced the launching of the state’s health insurance today, September 4. But it was only a repeat of the action already taken by his predecessor, governor Abdulfatah Ahmed as far back as 2018.
At today’s launch, governor Abdulrazaq said the intent of the state-wide health insurance, which is intended to enrol 10,000 indigents in the first phase, was to boost life expectancy and the economy of the state.
Follow the link below to see video of the 2018 launch:
The governor also boasted that the launch of the health insurance scheme was an indication that Kwara is showing strong leadership in healthcare. He said the launch was a major step in the efforts of his administration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The launching today of this health insurance scheme is a direct response of the administration to the goal 3 of the SGDs which is access to good health and well-being. We are starting this scheme by onboarding at least 10,000 indigents as a test run. These indigents have had their premium fully paid. This means the health insurance is 100% free for the indigents. We hope to enrol many more indigents in the coming years,” governor Abdulrahman said.
He thereafter proceeded to officially present ID cards to some of the beneficiaries at the launch which was attended by Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly Yakubu Salihu Danladi; House of Assembly members; cabinet members; and top officials from the Ministry of Health; and representatives of the development partners.
But a check by INSIDER reveals the former Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed had launched the same Kwara Health Insurance Scheme on Thursday July 12, 2018.
Ahmed had announced at the time that the scheme was compulsory for all residents, calling on all and sundry to take advantage of the statewide scheme to access affordable healthcare delivery in the state.
“I have no doubt that this scheme is primed for success not only because it is guaranteed to be sustainable, well-funded and well managed, but also because it will leverage digital technology to promote efficiency, and transparency,” governor Ahmed had said at the time.
Deputy Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr Michel Deelen who attended the event promised that the Dutch government would strengthen its partnership with the Kwara Government to achieve universal health coverage in the state.
Among other dignitaries who graced the 2018 launch was the Lead Health Sector Specialist and Head of the World Bank Group’s Health in Africa Initiative, Prof. Khama Rogo and the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Yusuf Usman who both promised to partner the state to guarantee the success of the scheme.
Coincidentally, the Executive Secretary, Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme, Dr Bunmi Jetawo-Winter who today attended the launching of KHIS done by Gov. Abdulrazaq was also in attendance at the 2018 event in the same capacity. At the time, she explained that the scheme was a well thought-out and carefully planned scheme to ensure affordable and accessible health care service delivery across the state.
She added that residents that enrol for the scheme would pay N25 premium per day. But it was surprising that the same Executive Secretary was in attendance at today’s relaunching exercise where it was claimed that the pilot to capture 10,000 beneficiaries of the Kwara Health Insurance Scheme was done in March, 2020. And curiously, neither the Executive Secretary, Dr. Jetawo-Winter nor governor Abdulrahman acknowledged the efforts of the previous government.