Onwubiko Calls for Transparency in Anambra State Health Insurance Agency

By Jude Atupulazi

A public policy analyst, Mr Polycarp Onwubiko, has called for transparency and accountability in the disbursement of the contributions to the Anambra State Health Insurance agency, (ASHIA) to get the satisfaction of the contributors to the healthcare scheme.

Onwubiko who spoke with journalists in Awka last weekend, observed the frustration and exasperation of the contributors to ASHIA, who, he said, complained bitterly that only low cost drugs were covered by ASHIA, while areas like teeth wash and replacement, eye glass and drugs, laboratory tests (apart from malaria, typhoid and cholesterol) were not covered by ASHIA.

His words, ‘For instance, ASHIA pays only N10,000 for an eye glass that costs N40,000 and does not cover teeth wash that costs N7, 500, and some surgical operations.’

The public policy analyst argued that ASHIA should not be perceived as a source of revenue agency for government by conserving a substantial percentage of the contributions by the registrants.

Onwubiko further advised that ASHIA at the end of the year should publish the amount contributed and the amount paid to the registered hospitals where the registrants went for medical attention.

The public policy analyst believed that over 60 percent of the ASHIA registrants did not fall sick while 40 percent who sought medical attention could not exhaust the total contributions of the ASHIA registrants in a year, adding that the surplus money could cover all the drugs and medicaments needed by the 40 percent of the registrants that actually sought for medical attention.