Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, on Thursday announced the establishment of a social health insurance scheme to ensure access to efficient and quality health care by residents of the state.
The governor explained that under the scheme, all taxable adults might be required to make a monthly contribution of N1, 000, which would guarantee them free treatment for their ailments, including surgeries.
Ayade, who disclosed this shortly after inspecting the Calabar Specialist Hospital currently under construction at the Summit Hills, Calabar, said an executive bill would soon be sent to the House of Assembly for consideration.
“This effort will provide secondary and tertiary support health services for our people while ensuring that the rich pay for the poor,” he added.
Ayade, who noted that medical care should not be for profit but for service, promised that the world-class hospital would be ready in June.
The governor said the facility would boost tourism in the state.
The governor also announced the plans by his administration to establish a pharmaceutical company in the state, which he said would be in operation in the first quarter of 2017.
Ayade stated this when he conducted the would-be investors, Healthage Nigeria Limited, along with some of his commissioners on an inspection of the proposed project site along the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Bypass, close to the Calabar garment factory in Calabar.
According to the governor, the initiative emanated from the conceptualisation of the deep seaport, the superhighway and the peace and tranquillity in the state, which he said attracted people to the just concluded Calabar Carnival.
“A carnival is not for dancing around but also a marketing platform as the deep seaport and superhighway are already attracting a lot of business investors. We are poised to reconstruct our state to move it from its dependence on the public sector and the Federation Account to an economy that is industrially-driven,” Ayade explained.
The governor noted that Pakistan – with a population of 180 million – and India were being celebrated for manufacturing high quality drugs that were WHO certified.
This feat, he noted, must be achieved in the state through the establishment of the pharmaceutical company.