Saturday, 26 May 2018

Cross River state health insurance scheme and the man behind the saddle

Mr. Godwin Iyala, DG, CRS Health Insurance Agency
| 26  May, 2018 | Simon Ustu

Of a truth, no matter how one wants to pummel Governor Ayade with criticism, it's almost impossible not to laud his achievements in the health sector. From the gigantic achievements recorded by primary health care boss, Dr Betta Edu to the colossal strides of the Health commissioner, Dr Inyang Asibong! 

And just recently, a genius personality, Mr Iyala Godwin has been appointed to be the pioneer head of the state's health insurance scheme which is officially going to be launched on Monday  the 28th of May 2018. They say behind every successful man is a great woman; maybe the reason why Governor Ayade keeps ticking the right boxes in the health sector is because of his wife, Dr Linda who I understand, is very passionate about the medical/health sector. On hearing about the scheme, I reached out to the DG via the phone and was privileged to be granted audience for over ten minutes- he literarily blew my mind away! For starters, Mr Iyala was one of the pioneer staffs of foremost insurance company, IGI insurance and worked directly and extensively with the founder for decades. 

He garnered enough experience and was seconded to lead many global insurance projects by IGI. He grew through the ranks in leaps and bounds and was a top management staff before joining the Imoke administration to kickstart the state's signage agency- which is amongst the most vibrant signage agencies in the country till date. 

The (health insurance) model he came up with as he revealed to me, is a very robust one; one that would seamlessly drift into cruise control in no distant time. It's a well planned contributory and affordable scheme designed to take less from the poor even as it delivers comprehensive healthcare to all and sundry. I was also informed that highly competent HMOs(Health Maintenance Organizations) have been co-opted to ensure the scheme is as hitch and glitch free as possible.

Going by the insurance guru's track record and wealth of experience, we're expecting him to go beyond "gigantic" and "colossal" and make astronomical strides as the head of this delicate scheme/sub-sector. We wish him the very best and pray the scheme takes it's place in history as one of Governor Ayade's unforgettable legacies.

 I also admonish Cross Riverians to give this program their maximum support because if it succeeds, it's going to kickstart a nationwide health insurance revolution. The aim would be to at least get to the level of the UK's NHS which is one of the best in the world. I'm speaking from experience as I was once covered by that scheme and I saw people who didn't have up to one million Naira in their bank  account getting Medicare of over ten million without having to pay any hospital bills.