By Nicholas Kalu, Abuja
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has flagged off the inclusion of retired policemen into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as part of welfare for officers and men of the Force.
Performing the exercise at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Monday, Adamu expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, for extending the scheme to retired police officers.
He said the development will help address the age-long quest for affordable healthcare services for police retirees and urged them to take optimum advantage of the scheme.
Adamu, who said he felt an emotional and professional fulfillment, said his experience in the police over the years had convinced him that the welfare of police officers particularly after retirement has been a constant source of anxiety which impacts on their optimal service delivery while in service.
He said it was more worrisome when viewed from the perspective that police personnel dedicate the most active part of their lives in service to the country, at times under very strenuous and health-impacting conditions, while some retire with disabilities caused by occupational hazards.
He said it was unfortunate that they inherited a system whereby all police personnel across all ranks were delisted from the Scheme as they exit public service thereby leaving them with the burden of singlehandedly addressing their medical and welfare challenges.
Adamu, said those in the service, feel the pain of their retired colleagues and are touched and demotivated.
He said upon assumption of office, he had prioritized the welfare of retired officers and made a presentation to the president that all retired personnel be retained in the scheme as a means of appreciating them for their meritorious service and ameliorating their post retirement welfare and health challenges.
The IGP had earlier directed the nationwide registration and capturing of all retired police officers with effect from 7th September to 23rd September, 2020.
With this development, all retired police officers, irrespective of their rank on retirement, along with a spouse, will have full access to all NHIS services and benefits covered by the Police Health Maintenance Organization (Police-HMO) Code-073.
The exercise, which shall be in three batches, will take place at the various Police Area Commands in the country.
All retired police officers are therefore required to visit any Police Area Command closest to them with the following basic requirements which includes a National Identity Number (compulsory), letter of retirement and retiree’s identity card.
Executive Secretary NHIS, Prof Mohammed Sambo the said the development was of the line with the next level agenda of attaining health insurance scheme for all by 2030 as approved by the sustainable developments goals.
He said health insurance was susceptible to a lot of abuse, but expressed confidence that the level of discipline of the police would not allow such kind of abuse in the system.
“We want to ensure we leave a credible mark so that the generation yet to come would also come and benefit from this exercise. At this point I want to congratulate the police and IGP for flagging of this exercise. I am sure it will be a legacy that will be perpetual in the minds of the police and the nation to get this group of people to be enrolled in this scheme,” he said.
Read the original article on The Nation