By Usman Gwadabe
Kano State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (KSCHMA) has designed a programme entitled: ‘Students Contributory Healthcare Programme (SCHEP)’ to enhance their wellness status while studying in various tertiary institutions and secondary schools in the state.
This scheme is developed to achieve universal healthcare coverage for all. The programme provided about 90 different benefit package under health education, prevention and promotion; primary internal medicine; primary surgery; primary obstetrics and gynaecology; accidental and emergency and primary laboratory investigations.
Other benefits, at secondary level healthcare include consultation and treatment by specialist; emergency cases outside place of residence; admission; internal medicine; comprehensive emergency obstetric care; general surgery; orthopedic, dental care; ophthalmology; Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT); psychiatry and management of emergency.
However, the validation workshop for tertiary institutions which include all the state own post secondary schools took place at Tahir Guest Palace on Wednesday.
While that of secondary schools was held at Chilla Luxury and Suites in the state yesterday.
During the two events, participants from public and private sectors were given opportunity to discuss, comment, observe and make questions on any area found difficult to comprehend.
They also grouped into four to scrutiny the guidelines thoroughly to ensure perfection of the draft.
In his opening remarks, the chairman, KSCHIMA Governing Board, Dankaden Kano, Dr. Basheer Ibrahim Muhammad, reiterated that National Health Insurance Scheme is mandatory upon every citizens, noting that everybody most be covKSCHMA validates students’ contributory scheme guidelines ered through the programme.
He said the tertiary institutions scheme was designed by National Health Insurance Authority to minimize medical bills of the students, revealing that the state government decided to come up with a similar programme for students of secondary schools to benefit.
He stressed that if compared, the programme of the students and that of others, it is more robust, adding that once students pay the N2, 000, they would enjoy free services from the facilities without paying a single kobo.
Declaring opened the validation workshop, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Hajiya Amina A. Musa, represented by Director Medical Service, Dr. Shehu Abdullahi, said this programme was part of the agency mandate to ensure inclusiveness and provide financial risk protection to all categories of the teeming populace of the state.
She hoped that the participants would contribute towards enrichment and adoption of the guidelines. “Let me reiterate our desire and commitment to continue synergy and collaboration with all stakeholders towards the realization of the universal health coverage in Kano State.
“I therefore encourage participants in to come up with concrete suggestions on how to improve the guidelines,” she stressed. Consultant lamented that less than 10 per cent of Nigerians are covered on the national and state healthcare scheme coverage.
According to the SCHEP Consultant, Abdulnaseer Abdu, before the day of the validation, the draft underwent a scrutiny by stakeholders at different zonal workshops, revealing that contributions from them were captured in the document.
He stressed that the wellness of students are very essential to acquiring quality and sound education, noting that the outcome will translate to economic growth and good governance.
The consultant added that SCHEP would protect families from spending much on medical bills, revealing that when students of post and secondary schools paid annual payment of N5, 000 and N2, 000 respectively, they would benefit from free treatment and medication throughout the session. He noted that in the other scheme runs by the agency, beneficiaries most pay 10 per cent of the total amount charged, lamenting that fund raising for the second schools programme is the major problem.
He however said stakeholders from the sector are expected to provide alternative way for generating the amount. He said before the take-up of the SCHEP with the tertiary institutions and secondary school managements, a Memorandum of Understanding most be signed to ensure accountability and transparency of the programme.
Some participants, Barr. Sa’eed Bello from Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS) and Rakiya Ladi Musa of School Base Management Committee (SBMC), said sourcing the amount is very difficult, lamenting that even N100 parents refused to pay to schools apart from remitting N2, 000 per annum.
They advised for aggressive sensitisation to convince parents to accept the scheme. Another participant, Salisu Yau Sulaiman, from CHAI said this is an opportunity for parents that have more than four children to use SCHEP to enroll their wards in the scheme.
In his contribution, Deputy Director, Tasiu Dahiru from Kano State Senior Secondary Schools Management Board (KSSSMB), advised the agency to enhance its services across the state, stressing that if teachers are not satisfied, they could not encourage parents to enroll their children in the scheme. He reminded that in the state, education is free, therefore, calling on parents to pay N2, 000 is an extra hardship upon teachers.
During the session some observation by the participants were adopted which include the agency to identify children enrolled in the scheme to avoid duplicate; expelled students shall allow to access the service for the period registered; spill over students shall be considered to pay 50 per cent, vulnerable and physically challenged students to be enrolled into equity fund for free services.
Responding to some questions, KSCHMA Executive Secretary, Dr. Halima Mijinyawa noted that teachers have never complained officially to the agency on poor service in the facilities, advising them to commence doing that whenever they notice such cases.
At the end of the validation, five next steps were adopted by the participants that are to harmonise and clean up of the operational guidelines, ensure production of the harmonized clean copy by June 7, engagement meeting with Association of Private and voluntary school proprietors, KSSSMB, STSB, dissemination of clean copy of operational guidelines in first week of July, 2022 and sensitization of KSSSMB, STSB, PTA.
In her vote of thanks, Dr. Mijinyawa said: “It is my pleasure today to witness the closing of this important validation workshop which was organised by the agency with the technical support from our former board member who facilitated the session.
“Most of the stakeholders involved have been here to validate the Students’ Contributory Healthcare Programme Operational Guidelines which will guide the implementation of the scheme.
“Special appreciation to the chairman KSCHIMA Governing Board, present and for members, NHIS, Ministry of Education and that of Health, tertiary institutions, head of students unions, media houses and any other that contributed to make this a success.
“We are most grateful to all participants for your sacrifice, commitment and endurance to be here for this important activity,” she concluded.