Extortion: Nasarawa state government vows to prosecute perpetrators, to establish information desks in all health facilities

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By David Okpashi

Following reported cases of Extortion in health facilities in Nasarawa State owned health institution, the state Health Insurance Agency, NASHIA has vowed to end all forms of extorting patience seeking medication in all the state health facilities.

Executive Secretary of the Agency, Dr. Yahaya Bawa Ubam said during an interactive session with Journalists in Lafia while reacting to allegations of extortions raised by patience accessing health Insurance scheme in Nasarawa that several measures were being deployed to stem the activities of those he Described as unscrupulous members of staff.

According to the Executive Secretary of the agency, “extortion of enrollees in some health provider facilities in the state would soon be a thing of the past insisting that the Agency will henceforth come down hard on the erring facilities in a bid to curtail the growing practices.

NASHIA has registered over 218, 000 enrollees with an attendance achievement of over 20 percent since the establishment of the agency out of the state unofficial population of 2.8 million people ,

“The Agency targets to capture over 500 thousand enrollees by 2027. inadequacies of manpower are the critical issues which the organisation is bridging the gap with training and retraining of staff and enrollees”, Ubam stated..

While calling for support from the enrollees and the public to report any incidents of extortion to the Agency for swift response, the executive secretary maintained that public cooperation would help reduce the rate of the extortion in the state..

The NASHIA Executive Secretary announced that the the agency is soon to commence digitization of enrolment of would be beneficiaries and to make the process more accessible especially now that the world has become a global village.

He encouraged members of the informal sector to access healthcare services through NASHIA, to meet the universal health coverage.

On affordability of the scheme, Ubam assure both the civil servants and those in the private sectors of affordability and enjoined the residents to key into the scheme ensure that they access healthcare services with equitable distribution of healthcare costs among different income groups.

He promised to run an open-door policy, create opportunity for the media to authenticate their reports on any issues with the Agency towards the realization of universal health coverage.

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