The non-formal sector enrollment into the Anambra Health Insurance Scheme has reached 65, 000, representing 43 per cent of total enrollment since coming into effect in 2017.

Simeon Onyemaechi, the executive secretary, Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA), disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Tuesday.

Mr Onyemaechi, a medical doctor, said this had made the state’s health insurance the “most patronised” by informal sector health insurance payers across the country.

He said the feat was achieved because of the conscious effort of the Willie Obiano administration to ensure that every resident of Anambra has access to quality and affordable healthcare.

The executive secretary said a good number of the private insurance enrollees were in rural communities, adding that the agency was rolling out mobile health insurance technology to deepen access to community dwellers.

According to him, ASHIA is a leading health insurance scheme in Nigeria with about 11 states coming to under-study its model, including providing remote support for others.

He said the informal sector of the agency was the highest paying for health insurance anywhere in Nigeria.

“Presently, we have about 65, 000 enrollment in the informal sector and that represents about 43 per cent of total enrollment and that is unprecedented in the country.

“A large chunk of these people are in rural areas, we have concluded our mobile health insurance system which the governor will inaugurate soon.

“This is targeted at the rural area to increase enrollment in those areas.

“With that, they don’t need to go to the city for registration, they will be in their homes and get registered with the aid of a mobile phone,” he said.

Mr Onyemaechi said ASHIA was using about 250 healthcare providers across the state and that they were being closely monitored and sanctioned where appropriate.

He said the healthcare providers had been briefed on their expected behaviour and enrollees who felt bad about quality of services should contact the agency’s customer service desk with the contact on their identity cards.

“It is not true that patients are denied access to consultants; a patient with minor ailment is supposed to go to a doctor at the primary healthcare level.

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“If there is need for a referral, the patient would be referred appropriately but it is wrong for somebody with simple malaria to demand to go straight to a consultant.

“We must correct that and that is what health insurance is designed to address; this will reduce the burden on tertiary facilities.

“We monitor our healthcare providers, we have an effective quality control department, when there are issues about service, the enrollee should call us with the number provided at the back of their cards,” he said.

ASHIA was set up in 2017 with a vision to increase social health insurance as a proportion of total health expenditure in Anambra from less than one per cent at inception to at least 90 per cent by 2030.

(NAN)

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