Health insurance: Oyo woos artisans, informal sector with barter, daily contributions

Oyo State Health Insurance Agency has concluded arrangements to entice artisans and traders in the state to register and benefit from the health insurance scheme of the state government through trade by barter and daily payments of as low as fifty naira.

The arrangement according to the agency would include traders swapping their farm produce or products of equal monetary worth to be covered by the insurance scheme.

The meeting has in attendance representatives of various groups, informal sector, Iyaloja, tailor associations, market women, National Union of Road Transports Workers (NURTW) and all level of informal groups.

During a massive sensitization/enlightenment effort tagged “Town hall meeting” which held at Mapo Hall of the Ibadan South East local government, the agency educated the leaders of various vocational groups including market leaders, religious leaders, community leaders, health officials from the council, government officials on the need to enlist for the scheme in the place of out of pocket medical treatment.

Disclosing the plans on how to attract the people in the informal sector, the Executive Secretary, OYSHIA, Dr. Sola Akande explained to the participants, convenient ways by which they can enrol on the insurance scheme.

He said, “We have all kinds of innovations to ensure people get into the scheme, commencing with daily payments like daily contributions, trade by barter among others, especially for our rural people, you can bring in palm oil, that we’ll value it, take it to the marketing unit, then they will sell it and we’ll get the money.”

“We want to look for all possible means to make this convenient for the people. It’s not that the people don’t have money, they are spending money every day. 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 N50, they will make up their N8,000 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.”

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“So, we’re saying all over, what the scheme is about and the benefits. Information is power. It’s not that people don’t want to do health insurance, but their knowledge about it is poor. That’s why we’re doing this. We’ve done it at Iseyin and Oyo. We’re starting another one at Ibarapa axis tomorrow.”

“We have civil servants in the net already, but we’re reaching far more than that, and that’s why we are trying our best possible to get the informal sector into the net.”

In his remarks, chairman, Ibadan South East Local Government, Mr Ibrahim Omiyale appreciated the state government for holding the meeting in his local government, noting that the scheme will help promote better living condition for the residents in the council areas.

He said, “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 dividend of democracy to the grassroot and we are sure the people will be better for it.”

It is expected that the selected leaders in the various group at the event would later relay the message of the scheme to their members after which the scheme will follow up.

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