Dr Fabong Yildam, Director-General of Plateau State Contributory HealthCare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA), said no child would be enrolled in Plateau Schools without evidence of enrollment into the state Social Health Insurance Scheme.
Yildam stated this on Friday in Jos at a sensitisation and town hall meeting on the state social health insurance scheme, organised by the agency for the private sector and the informal sector.
He said that registration of a child above 5 years of age was mandatory, and that the directive would be enforced using the health card as a criterion for the enrollment process.
He said that the organisation had paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), in preparations for full implementation of the directive.
The director-general said that children under 5 years were among the vulnerable group in the equity plans; others included pregnant women, Internally Displaced Persons, People With Disabilities and People with mental disability (excluding those who engage in substance abuse).
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the scheme has four plans comprising equity plan, formal sector, informal sector and private sector plans .
“It is expected that after five years of age, these children are in school, and with the collaboration of SUBEB here in Plateau, no child will be enrolled into any school without presenting our card (Health insurance).
“If that child is covered under his parents, then we will have to have a photocopy of his father’s identify card and follow through the facility which that child accesses health care, without which no child will be enrolled into school
“But we are giving a window of two years starting from Sept. 15, 2019 to 2021, and from Sept. 16, 2021, every child that is below five years of age must have a card that is duly registered with us before being taken in to school,” he said.
He said the directive covered both children in the private or public schools, saying the enrollment of all Plateau residents would be in clusters, either in association, groups or in communities.
Yildam explained that it was easier to manage enrollment in clusters which gave a sense of inclusiveness, saying individuals not belonging to such groups could register through the private sector.
He said enrollees had the right to choose their facility, saying the agency had a list of accredited health providers that had met the minimum criteria of the agency
The PLASCHEMA boss said enrollment of the scheme which was officially launched in September by Gov. Lalong was ongoing, and that advocacy was continuous and critical for people to get enlightened on the Scheme,hence the need for the town hall meetings.
He said that enrollees had a waiting period of 30 to 45 days before they would start accessing the insurance services.
He explained that a special system had been developed using customised tablets and hand held devices to work where there was internet or no internet services.
“The target of the insurance scheme is to reach 20 per cent of the entire population in Plateau through advocacy in three months.
“To enroll the vulnerable starting with 325 Primary Health Centres,” he said.
In her remarks, the Deputy Director, Corporate of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), urged transparent application of uniform standard in the implementation of the scheme.
She commended PLASCHEMA for the meeting, saying it was necessary to ensure public awareness, thus the success of the scheme.
She said NECA was committed to safeguard and defend the interest of employees and business, in legal and legitimate means, while championing progress of local economic and commercial issues affecting business.
A participant of the meeting, Mrs Rahila Hamza, the Secretary of All Farmers Association of Nigeria , Plateau chapter, said that it was a good initiative and she would enlighten her members on provisions of the scheme.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye and Abdullahi Yusuf