By Peter Uwumarogie, Gombe.
The Gombe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (GoHealth) is targeting 25 per cent of the population in the state for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2026.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Habu Dahiru, disclosed this on the side-lines of a meeting with commercial tricycle operators on Saturday in Gombe.
He reiterated the government’s commitment towards achieving UHC for its citizens, adding that contributory healthcare scheme had provided a veritable opportunity for the citizens to access healthcare services anytime they were sick.
According to him, with more residents of the state subscribing to GoHealth, it will be easy for them to enjoy quality and affordable healthcare services without suffering financial hardship
Dahiru said that the worst thing that could happened to anyone was to fall sick without money to access treatment.
The commissioner said that GoHealth remained the best option for health service seekers, in view of the success recorded with the existing enrolees.
“With N10,000 per person, a tricycle rider can enrol and access health services like consultation and investigation, while paying only 10 per cent of the cost of drug prescription.
“We have so far enrolled 100,000 vulnerable persons who are enjoying free healthcare in the state.
“The public and organised private sector too had been enrolled, and now we are moving to the informal sector,” he said.
According to him, for the state to achieve UHC coverage, the approach must be all-inclusive, hence the enrolment of tricycle and motorcycle riders, farmers and artisans.
Dahiru noted that by prioritising the formal and informal sectors as well as the most poor and vulnerable citizens, who could not afford premium, the government had taken the right step towards achieving UHC.
On his part, Mr Umar Istifanus, Community Engagement Officer, GoHealth, said the agency targeted 25 per cent of its population by 2026, hence the need to engage all stakeholders towards meeting the target.
He commended Gov. Inuwa Yahaya for giving GoHealth the needed legislative backing to ensure its sustainability, while removing the financial barrier hindering citizens from accessing quality services.
Also, Mohammed Abdullahi, Chairman, Tricycle Riders Association in Gombe State, lauded the governor for his health initiative, describing it as “a welcome development”.
He pledged the support of the association towards public awareness creation and mobilising participation in the scheme.