The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA), Dr Simeon Onyemaechi, has said the European Union and the World Health Organisation (WHO), have adjudged the State Health Insurance Agency, as the best performing informal sector of health insurance scheme in Nigeria.
Dr. Onyemaechi, disclosed this during a press briefing to Commemorate this year, 2022 World Universal Health Coverage Day, held at ASHIA conference hall Awka, on Tuesday.
He said the pronouncement was made following the WHO African Regional Office featuring the success story of Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme as the UHC 2022 video of the day.
According to him, he said about eight Nigerian states have visited Anambra State physically to understudy what we do here and have gone on to replicate our model in their various states.
“We have equally provided remote technical support to at least eight other states in running their health insurance scheme.
“As it stance today, even the National Health Insurance Authority Law has recognized adoption model we introduce in Anambra as an innovation method to reach the informal sector especially, the indigent and vulnerable.
“We introduced the first fully end-to-end electronic system for both pre-authorization and claims management by a State Health Insurance Agency in Nigeria. This has nudged us higher on efficient service delivery in the country.
On the achievement of the Agency so far in the State, the ASHIA boss, explain that ASHIA, was formally launched by the immediate past Administration of Governor Willie Obiano, on the 14th of September, 2018 and the enrolment of beneficiaries commenced on the 5th of November, 2018. The beneficiaries started accessing care on the 1st of January 2019 from a network of about 100 public, private and mission hospitals all over the state, in which at the moment has grown to over 200 facilities.
“With the realization that over 85 percent of our citizens belong to the informal sector, we developed the adoption model to catalyze activities around enrolment of this segment of the society.
“Today, it has yielded fruits as we have over 180,000 persons enrolled in the scheme out of which 35 percent are from the informal sector, and almost 40 percent of that population initially came into the scheme through the adoption model.
“The present administration of governor Chukwuma Soludo, has taken the ASHIA coverage to another level by introducing the Solution Care for road transport workers who are complaint with payment of their month/weekly levy to operate.
“ASHIA has enrolled over 200 complaint road transport workers and in the coming days will we upscale this number to thousands.
“ASHIA has continued to institute continuous quality improvement of its operations. And we hold the record of never defaulting in paying the healthcare providers, their capitation and fee-for-service.
“We have decentralized our administrative services especially enrolment and local resolution of enrolled issues to General Hospital Onitsha, General Hospital Ekwulobia, Immaculate Heart Multispecialty Hospital Aguleri, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Ihiala, St. Felix Hospital Nnewi, Immaculate of Mary Hospital Nkpor, St. Joseph Hospital Adazi Nnukwu, St. Joseph Ifite-Ogwari and Idemili North Local Headquarters, to ensure improved access to the scheme by the rural dwellers.
“We have set up a Research Unit that conducts periodic surveys to enable us generate evidence for targeted improvement that engenders efficiency in our operations. This Unit has also actively contributed to intellectual property through publications of the giant strides of ASHIA as scientific publication in International journals. This has attracted global attention to what we do and has helped other states and countries in our subregion to learn from our work for their own journey towards UHC.
While commending governor Soludo, for employing more Health workers in the state, Dr. Onyemaechi, called on all residents of Anambra State, who are yet to enrol with ASHIA, to do so to save themselves from high out-of-pocket health expenditures that can potentially impoverish them.
He also use the occasion to charge all philanthropists to pay premiums of for the flood victims, downtrodden using the Scheme adoption model, especially, during the Yuletide season.
The theme for this year 2022 UHC, is “Build The World We Want: A Healthy Future For All”