Kwara State Government has commended Sterling Bank Plc for partnering the state government to actualise the Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme (KSHIS), which was moribund despite its inauguration three years ago. Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State stated this in Ilorin, the state capital on Friday at the official re-launch of the scheme. He said the resuscitation of the scheme represents a direct response by the state government to ensure that Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is achieved in the state by 2030, which is access to good health and well-being. He said the scheme will start as a test-run with at least 10,000 indigent citizens from across the 16 local government areas of the state. The governor noted that the health insurance scheme would boost life expectancy of the people, promote good health and ultimately strengthen the economy, saying the scheme has the potential to prevent a sudden fall into poverty among indigent people as a result of any unforeseen health crisis. Speaking on the partnership, Mr. Emmanuel Emefienim, Executive Director of Institutional Banking, Sterling Bank, said the bank decided to partner with Kwara State Government as part of its commitment to the development of the health sector, which is one of its focus areas. According to Emefienim, the bank is focusing investments on five sectors of the economy, including Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation (HEART) to make impact on the Nigerian economy. He said, “Sterling Bank is working with Kwara State Government to pioneer a truly inclusive healthcare delivery model. There is no better time to do that than now.” He explained that the state government approached Sterling Bank to support the administrative set-up cost for the development and acquisition of the scheme’s ICT software and hardware as well as registration and biometric data capture of all residents across 193 wards and the 16 local governments in the state. He said the bank’s support would enable the health insurance scheme to be efficient, structured and administered in a way that is devoid of bureaucratic bottlenecks. Also speaking, Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter, lauded Sterling Bank for providing the financial support that enabled the agency to engage consultants, including Exaro Solutions and CarePay, to develop automated registration module that will be used to capture the needed health data of residents in the state for the purpose of enrolling them into the scheme. She observed that the interface between Exaro and CarePay platforms provided a state-of-the-art registration, enrolment and administration platform that is transparent and seamless, thus providing an eased customer experience. She added that through the support of Sterling Bank, the agency now owns adequate hardware for administering enumeration across the state.She also commended the World Bank and USAID for their tremendous support and implored public spirited individuals and corporate bodies to rally round the government in its efforts to provide a robust health care delivery service to the citizenry, saying the government alone cannot do this. The scheme is structured to cover three sectors: the indigent people who are the poor of the poorest in various communities in the state who will not pay any premium because of their financial predicament, the informal sector comprising people with daily income, but no structured salary who will pay N6,000 per annum and the formal sector which covers structured salary workers in both the public and private sectors that will pay N9,000 per annum.
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