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FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, (6th Left), Director, FCT Health Insurance Scheme, Dr Ahmed Danfulani (5th Left) and other senior staff of the FCTA following the visit of the FHIS Management to the Minister last week.

By Ignatius Ushie.

In the bid to continue to improve on the medical condition of FCT Residents and cushion the financial burden as it concern health and medical bills, the Honourable Minster of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has charged the management of the FCT Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS) to  ensure that every resident of the FCT is covered under the Scheme. This was contained in a statement made available to Transport Day in Abuja. According to the statement signed by the Chief Press Secretery to the Minister, Anthony Ogunleye.

The Minister made this charge when he received the FHIS Director, Dr Ahmed Danfulani and his management team, who were at the FCTA to present the Working Documents of the Scheme to the FCT Minister.

Bello informed his guests that one of the mandates given to the FCT Administration by President Muhammadu Buhari was to widen the health insurance coverage of FCT residents.

According to him, “the mandate given to us by President Muhammadu Buhari is to widen coverage of health insurance in the FCT and the mandate I am giving you is to ensure that every citizen in the FCT, either in the formal or informal sector is covered”. The Minister also urged the FHIS management to ensure that the FCT Health Insurance Scheme succeeds in the Territory, adding that payment for health services all at once either by individuals or even the government is no longer tenable, considering the ever increasing cost of medical services especially for diseases such as cancer or orthopedic procedures

“You have to work out a system so that certain diseases can be covered. If for instance someone is diagnosed with cancer, how can he or she pay for it? Cancer treatment, even the medication alone or chemotherapy alone, costs a lot of money not to talk of radiotherapy or surgery for some orthopaedic cases”. He said. He asked the FHIS team to also work out ways in which enrollees under the scheme had the option of paying more for wider coverage, urging them to improve their services and grow the Scheme based on sound business practices, financial management and a robust ICT infrastructure.

Bello while calling on the FHIS team to develop a robust publicity strategy in order to meet its objectives, also urged them to work out a system that will take care of the aged in the society.

He said “you have to work out a system to make sure that the aged pay only a reasonable amount of money to get good quality healthcare because they have served the country and the FCT, so it is now the duty of the country to take care of them”

Earlier in his remarks, the Director of the FCT Insurance Scheme Dr Ahmed Danfulani, while presenting the Working Documents to the Minister,  explained that the documents were prepared over a period of two years and will guide the everyday operations and activities of the scheme.

The documents presented include the “FHIS Standard Treatment Guideline and Referral Protocol” which is designed to ensure that patients are aware of the full extent of treatment they are entitled to. High points of the event was the presentation of the “Operational Guideline of the FHIS” which according to Dr Danfulani “describes in detail every step that we need to take in any of our actions, including registrations of healthcare providers, registration of HMOs, their roles, our roles, punitive measures to be taken when they err and so on”

Present at the event was the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, the Director, Department of Human Resources Management, Dr Bashir Muhammed, the Ag General Manager, FCTA Hospitals Management Board, Dr Francis Alu, the Ag Director, Department of Reform Coordination and Service Improvement, Dr Jumai Ahmadu and other senior staff of the FCTA.