The chief of Karu HRH. Emmanuel Kyauta Yepwi has directed his districts and village heads to ensure that they and their families are enrolled under the FCT Health Insurance Scheme FHIS.

HRH Emmanuel Yepwi gave the directive during an advocacy visit to his palace organised by the Karu Area office of the FHIS in Abuja.

He said the premiums required by the FHIS was nothing compared to the benefits an enrolee will enjoy when they fall sick.

“All of you always running to me each time that your family member is sick, this is the end, if you don’t register, you are on your own. N13,500 is ok for all of you here and even if you don’t pay at once, there’s room for instalment payment through the FCT Microfinance bank”

He advised those traditional rulers and their families who are frequent visitors to hospitals in a year to seek this method of health instead of always borrowing.

“All of us here that are always falling seek or our children, I think we should take a look at this healthcare service, because before I can help you, you have to show me that you have registered with FHIS”

He commended the FHIS for setting up an office in his community and urged them to ensure that the Karu General Hospital is up and running so that his people can benefit from it.

“The facility we have in Karu here, no hospital in the FCT has it and they are just laying fallow for this long and becoming obsolete,  I will talk to the MD again, tell her that if the FCT Minister of state is not listening to her, let her invite me we will go to meet the minister together”

The Sa’akaruyi who spoke in vernacular further directed the district heads and the village heads to take the message of FHIS enrolment down to their communities so as they can also help their community members especially the sick ones.

Earlier in his presentation the Director FHIS, Dr M. Ahmed-Danfulani who was represented by the Public Relations Officer FHIS, David Barau informed the Sa’akaruyi that they were in his palace on advocacy for some of the programmes and benefits of enrolling on the FHIS and also to let him know that the FHIS has an area office in his community as well as to sensitise them on the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund BHCF.

“We are the FCT health Insurance Scheme FHIS our mandate though broad is very simple we just want to make FCT residents have access to quality healthcare at a very affordable rate”

Mr. Barau added that “To achieve this we have 2 main sectors of enrolment which are the formal and informal sectors, the formal sector is what most of you know; that is public servants, government workers and organised private sector like banks and big companies, they category of workers have their premium removed at source from the their salaries monthly, however most Nigerians don’t belong to the formal sector, so the FHIS has plan to cover Nigerians who do not belong to the formal sector and want to benefit”

He reiterated that with only N13, 500 per annum, an individual from the informal sector will enjoy full healthcare benefits that are enjoyed by those that fall in the formal sector which includes free births, caesarean section hospitalization for up to 21 days and many surgeries.

Another member of the team Blessing Ticky also informed the palace that in order to simplify the payment for those unable to pay a lump sum of N13,500, the FHIS had signed an MOU with the FCT Microfinance Bank (FCTMFB) to enable the enrollees pay in instalments.

“For example if six of you approach the FCT Microfinance bank as a group you’ll receive a discount from the bank, and of course the more the merrier, so it is advisable to approach the bank as association or a union”

Geraldine Iheanacho is one of the FHIS officers posted to Karu area office, she informed the gathering that the Karu office which is now functional is located in the premises of the Karu General Hospital and all willing enrollees can come over and get registered.

Fielding questions from some of the chiefs, other team members Malam Abubakar Musa and Abubakar obapa in answering a question on if a person doesn’t fall sick or visit a hospital in year, will his premium be returned? “The funds will not be retuned back to you they said.

“The funds gotten from the formal sector, informal sector and other sources are all put in a single pool to take care of all the beneficiaries, therefore the strong contributes of the weak, the healthy for the sick, and the young one for the old, because once you pay we hope you don’t fall sick at the same time, because when everyone goes to the hospital at the same time, the monies will finish in less than a month, so that’s why we can’t pay you back”

In answering another question on what happens to people who can hardly feed themselves yet alone pay N13,500 what happens to them?

The FHIS Public Relations Officer David Barau said there’s a programme ongoing called the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF). This programmes aims to cover the poor and vulnerable persons who don’t fall within the any of the sectors, mentioned above, he added that the funds are gotten from 1% of the consolidated funds of the Federal government and other donor agencies and its  set aside for the BHCPF to share among the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT.

“Already the FCT has commenced the enrolment process of the poor and vulnerable persons in the 6 area councils of the territory, we are mining 70% of the data of the poor and vulnerable persons from the FCT social safety register, however we have reserved 30% to critical stakeholders, we are sharing this 30% further to 3 groups. 10% to traditional rulers, 10% to faith based organizations, 10% to persons with disabilities with emphasis to women and children. To you sir the director FHIS Dr M. Ahmed-Danfulani has directed me to inform his royal highness that he would soon be coming to your palace to collect some names of the poor and vulnerable persons in your community chosen by you that will benefit from the programme because you also know many of the poor and vulnerable persons in your chiefdom” He emphasized.