ASHIA, mandatory for Anambra Residents_ Onyemaechi

  …says enforcement will guarantee achievement of its vision

The Executive Secretary of Anambra State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Simeon Onyemaechi, has disclosed that the law that established the State Health insurance made it mandatory for all residents and indigenes of the State.

He said that the mandatory nature of the insurance premium was to guarantee affordable and accessible health to the people of Anambra State, saying that the enforcement of the law would assure the achievement of the mission and vision.

The ASHIA boss made the disclosure in an exclusive interview with Fides on the plans of agency to ensure that health care services gets across hard to reach areas of the state. He explained that the enforcement of the law which brought the State insurance into being, when enforced would eliminate avoidable deaths and patronage to some quacks medical personals which seemed to be on the high raise in the State.

He explained that ASHIA has robust package to carter for numerous illnesses which people mostly spend on, thereby limiting people from selling their valuable asset in order to care for their loved ones.

According to Onyemaechi, ‘What we cover for surgeries, are caesarian sections which are included in the premium. AISHA has done at least 1,000 caesarian sections, we do fibroid sections, we take care of appendectomy, we do hyena sections, we do breast lump sections, we do eye examination and provide glasses, and we do dental care.

‘For fractures, ASHIA will take care of fracture but not when it requires open reduction internal fixation (ORIF). ASHIA will not pay for that but if it’s a close manipulation, ASHIA will pay for a closed manipulation fracture. The other thing is that ASHIA will pay for 15 bed nights for her enrollees while in surgical operations, ASHIA will pay for 21 bed nights.

‘For women who are pregnant, ASHIA pays for their ante natal and delivery sections. The beauty of what we do in ASHIA is that we do strategic purchasing, whereby, if it’s a procedure that ASHIA does not pay for, we will not leave you on your own, we will recommend a facility that will charge you below cost and I assure you that you will not get it anywhere outside ASHIA, so conditions like prostatectomy, removal of the prostrates in men, ASHIA does not get involved in that; however ,we can help you do open prostatectomy in this day  for 180,000 naira. You would never get that price anywhere’.

Speaking on the vision of ASHIA, Onyemachi said, he see about ninety percent of Anambra indigenes enrolling with ASHIA by 2030.

‘The vision of this agency is to achieve universal health coverage in Anambra by the year 2030, and  that’s why we come to work every day with our mission which is to strategically purchase health care for every residents of  Anambra state in a digitalized health system accessible to everyone and that is what we do every day. If that is what we want to achieve, we need to think of innovative ideas digitally, how do we make it possible for our people to have access to our health care service and we have our vision which will be achieved by 2030.

‘We have a law, Anambra state health insurance scheme law 2016, says that ‘Health in this scheme is mandatory for every resident of Anambra state, so if you have not been enrolled into ASHIA, you are breaking the law, and most importantly, very soon the State will start enforcing this law; because if you don’t enforce the state insurance scheme law, the mission cannot be achieved.

‘We cannot keep begging people to register when we have a law, we have a law that everybody must abide by it and every individual who is not insured is one major sickness away from poverty. One sickness might just come and wipe all your money, meanwhile the  system has offered a more easier and cheaper way to access quality health care services. A lot of reason why people breakdown and have major health issues and start selling lands and all manner of things for health treatment is because of poor health system, if you have access to health insurance, it helps you to always go to hospital when  you need it’, he concluded.