After listening to Miss Ngozi Okoronkwo, Abia State Commissioner for health, on a radio program in Umuahia on 100 days achievement of the Abia government, no one should be left in doubt that Mr Otti has no plans but to pursue his personal businesses with his cronies.
Miss Okoronkwo , a former staff of zenith health insurance, who has been on different fora bragging on her plans to revive hospitals in Abia, has shifted her focus to health insurance policies for pensioners.
According to her, her office has captured over 4000 pensioners in her health insurance database even when they are yet to start verification of pensioners.
When you realize that Mr Otti who campaigned on the welfare of these vulnerable pensioners is yet to pay a complete one month pension getting to 4 months of his administration, you will begin to wonder why enrollment into health insurance can be more paramount than paying these pensioners the agreed to be paying monthly . For emphasis, he has only paid 30% of the total amount per month scattered for two months of which some got and some of the pensioners did not get a dime. That is, those whose pension ranges from #180k, got #40k far below what the previous government paid for every month.
It is regrettable that same government that coerced them into protests and counter protests is basically using their situation to better their lot financially .
There is no free lunch anywhere and therefore this medical care from an insurance company is not free. Knowing that the commissioner has a background in health insurance, it can be argued that the commissioner could be driven by her personal and selfish considerations..
Amazingly, the pensioners will be sent to primary healthcare centers that cannot treat major ailments associated with elderly persons like diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis etc..According to her, when they need treatment for such ailments they will pay at secondary and tertiary hospitals. It can be seen that all the woman wants to do is sell insurance policy.
Who knows how much of Abia money is going to be written off through this means? However, only the commissioner and the Governor know the insurance company and the amount involved as they have made it a culture to hide even the simplest financial engagement with any sector, company or a member of the public.
Again, Otti promised to set up one new general hospital in each senatorial district but the woman only mentioned repainting and refurbishment of Mecure (Abia State specialist Hospital Umuahia) and Amachara General hospital also located in same Umuahia north LGA of Abia State.
When asked about Abia north and central she claimed that “insecurity” is responsible for the govt’s inability to work in Abia north while they are working on a “cottage hospital” to be located in Isiala Ngwa in same Abia central district.
Meanwhile there is a multi-specialist hospital done by Ikpeazu in Aba and handed over to Otti which he abandoned to rot because of bitterness against Ikpeazu.
Even the continuing free medical scheme that she is trumpeting is allegedly costing the state hundreds of millions that could have been used to fix existing public hospitals.
Many persons have alleged that the reason for this capturing is basically for her insurance business which to her is paramount instead of paying pensioners outstanding pensions as promised during the campaign.
Efforts should be made to follow the campaign promises and pay the pensioners to avoid them getting sick for health insurance sake unless that is the ultimate goal.