By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
Moved by the need to drive home the importance of affordable health care delivery, the Oyo State Health Insurance Agency (OYSHIA) has targeted the informal sector which comprised artisans in the state to register and benefit from the health insurance scheme.
This was brought to the fore on Tuesday, during a town hall meeting held at the ancient Mapo Hall in Ibadan.
The agency, through its Executive Secretary, Dr Sola Akande in his address, educated the leaders of various vocational groups on the need for health insurance.
He stated that the purpose of the town hall meeting was to reveal to the artisans, convenient ways in which they could enrol on the insurance scheme.
Akande said: “We have all kinds of innovations to ensure people get into the scheme. Commencing with daily payments like daily contributions, trade by barter.
“Especially for our rural people, you can bring in palm oil, that we will value it, take it to the marketing unit, then they will sell it and we will get the money.
“We want to look for all possible means to make this convenient for the people. It’s not that the people do not have money, they are spending money everyday.
“We are going to help them by going to their markets and their shops. You can’t expect a woman selling vegetables to go to the bank and deposit money for health insurance.
“If they do a daily contribution of 50 naira daily, they will make up their 8,000 naira payment in four months, and then they begin to enjoy the scheme.
“This meeting is one of our strategies to get them into the scheme. So, we are saying all over, what the scheme is about and the benefits.
“Information is power. It is not that people do not want to do health insurance, but their knowledge about it is poor. That is why we are doing this, we have done it at Iseyin and Oyo. We are starting another one at Ibarapa axis on Wednesday (today).
“We have civil servants in the net already, but we are reaching far more than that, and that is why we are trying our best possible to get the informal sector into the net.”
In his remark, the Chairman, Ibadan South East Local Government, Mr. Ibrahim Omiyale appreciated the state government for holding the meeting in his local government.
“Let me appreciate the state government, under the leadership of His Excellency Senator Abiola Ajimobi for bringing this initiative so that people can benefit from the health insurance scheme.
“This is bringing the dividends of democracy to the grassroots,” Omiyale added.