The Federal Government has commenced enrolment of corps members nationwide into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Speaking yesterday in Abuja during the flag-off ceremony, Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Major General, Shuaibu Ibrahim said the idea to enrol Corps members into the scheme was born in 2016 after the death of three Corps Members deployed to Kano, Zamfara and Bayelsa States Orientation Camps.
He said the health initiative, known as NYSC Group Individual Family Social Health Insurance Programme, (GIFSHIP) had been designed as a holistic health insurance scheme, covering the periods of Pre-Orientation, that is, as soon as a Prospective Corps Member picks up Call-up Letter, whch is the instrument that qualifies him/her for admittance into National Service and the Corp member sounds be covered until the end of his/her terminal leave, which is three weeks after disengagement from Service.
Ibrahim noted that for effective implementation of this health scheme, six Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOS) have been selected after a competitive process for each of the six geopolitical zones to drive the process.
He said that to ensure seamless arrangement devoid of encumbrances, Corps Members were expected to register under Health Care Practitioners in their localities while he expects the HMOS and Health Care Providers to approach the insurance scheme with the highest degree of responsibility and integrity.
He assured that the NYSC and NHIS management would not relent in providing the necessary supervision and enabling environment while also monitoring and ensuring seamless operations of the health scheme, hence, called on the Corps members to avail themselves of the unique opportunity provided by the NHIS to access quality health care at no cost to them.
Speaking at the event, Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Mohammed Nasiru Sambo said it was important to invest in the wellbeing and welfare, hence the need to make healthcare affordable and available to them.
He said that in 2017 a presidential directive was issued for corps members to be enrolled into the healthcare scheme hence a memo was raised and sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and was approved.
According to him, a joint committee comprising of the NYSC, NHIS and the Finance Ministry was constituted to develop a framework for implementation hence, in August 2021, the funding for the coverage was approved.
He called on all Health Maintainance Organisation (HMOs) and healthcare givers to work in accordance with the operations of the NHIS so that no corps member would be returned or unattended to.
On his part, Director, Corps Welfare and Health Services, Mr Folorunso Omotade said the NYSC GIFSHIP was designed to cover pre-orientation, orientation, primary assignment and terminal leave periods of the service year of corps members.“It follows that as soon as a Prospective Corps Member (PCM) has the instrument of the call-up, he/she is eligible to benefit from the package.
During orientation courses, the Health Care Providers (HCPs) will man the camp clinics, while corps members will have direct access to HCPs at all places of primary assignments Corps members will be made to enrol at the HCPs at their local government areas of posting and will be able to enjoy their services even while on transit, within and outside the states of service.
”“The program will terminate or a corps member ceases to enjoy the benefits of the package immediately after his/her three (3) weeks terminal leave at the end of the service year,” he said.
He explained that when implementation was fully operational, it would not only lift the burden of settlement of huge medical bills off the shoulders of the Scheme, but will also ensure provision of adequate and qualitative health care for all corps members during their one year national service.
Omotade said that the modified NHIS-NYSC Group Individual Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP) had its own peculiarity but largely, it draws from the same structure of the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance programme.
Minister, Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare he said the programme was the commitment of the present present administration to the welfare of the youths in the country.
He said the programme will spur them to do more in their service to the country.
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