The Need To Educate and Sensitise Enrollees Of Health Insurance Scheme, Compelling – Dr. Michael Nwoko
By Iroroh Frank
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Delta State on Health Monitoring, Dr Michael Nwoko, has emphasized the need for the management of health care providers in the State, to constantly engage citizens, through town hall meetings and seminars to educate and sensitise them on the workings and operations of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.
The SSA, stated that such town hall meetings are necessary to educate the people more about the laudable health policy of his Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Governor of Delta State so as to place them in a better position to understand how the scheme works and help erase misconceptions from some quarters.
Dr. Nwoko made the call on 7th November, while featuring as a guest on ‘The Platform, The Pointer Newspaper, guest of the week program.
While responding to issues of misgivings expressed by some enrollees of the scheme, especially about the level of treatment and the kind of drugs administered to them, Dr. Nwoko stated, ‘we have been receiving complaints from a few of the enrollees of the Delta State Contributory Health Scheme which underscores the need for the creation of the office of the SSA to the Governor on Health Monitoring by our amiable Governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa to bridge the gap between these enrollees and healthcare providers.
During the course of our monitoring to some of the health facilities in the State, we have been able to interact with staffers of the health facilities and some enrollees of the scheme. We must understand that these problems does not exist the way they are being portrayed by these persons who call to complain.
In most cases when we get to the field, we realize that although, the issues are there, it is not entirely a bad situation. So we access the issues in order to be able to address them.’
‘You mentioned the complaints about the kind of drugs being administered to the enrollees. I am aware that Doctors do prescribe the chemical name of drugs and not necessarily the brand name and so enrollees who are used to a particular brand of drug for treating malaria for instance with Coartem 80mg/480mg before enrolling for the scheme may think that he has been shortchanged if given another brand but what is important is the chemical constituent of the drug which is Artemether 80mg lumefantrine 480mg, such enrollee may start to complain that he was not given the drug he wanted.
The Health Care providers also work within their capitation/fee for service.
This is just a matter of misunderstanding and enrollees need to be properly educated’ The SSA, emphasized.
Equally, speaking on the level of treatment offered under the Scheme, Dr. Nwoko acknowledged that the scheme is evolving and explained that under the scheme, treatment can be accessed in three stages of care, primary care, secondary and tertiary care based on concession.
He explained that major surgeries are not done at the primary care level and that for now, the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba which is a tertiary health facility along side 300 Primary Health Care Centers comprising of 1 per ward and other health Centres for wards that have large geographical location have been fully accredited for primary care service while about 64 private health care facilities across the State are fully accredited to render primary healthcare service to enrollees of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme. The Secondary Health Facilities are fully accredited to render Primary care service and many of them for Secondary care service.’
The SSA added, ‘in all the Healthcare facilities we have so far visited, we have quite often emphasized the need for management of health facilities to always engage the host communities where these enrollees are domiciled, in town hall meetings to enlighten them on the nature and operations of the health insurance scheme and that the accredited Healthcare Facilities must from time to time update information from the Delta State Contributory Health Commission in order to be able to enlighten the enrollees accordingly.’
‘My office have plans to organize seminars to educate and sensitise the people on some of these issues in due course.’ Dr. Nwoko concluded.