By Felicia Imohimi
No fewer than 130 members of staff of the Ministry of Finance on Thursday received free eye screening conducted by Manage Healthcare Ltd., a Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO).
Mr Robert Ukeje, Manager of Manage Healthcare, FCT Branch said the exercise was part of the HMO’s corporate social responsibility aimed at ensuring improved access to mandatory healthcare scheme.
Ukeje told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Body Mass Index (BMI) check, random blood sugar and blood pressure of the ministry’s staff were also checked.
According to him, these services are the basic health care need of the people.
He decried the high rate of blindness in the country, saying that it could be avoided.
Ukeje who urged Nigerians to go for regular eye examination, blamed ignorance and high cost of healthcare as the major factors militating against proper eye care.
He emphasised that early detection and intervention could slow the progress of eye disease and preservation of sight.
The HMO manager noted that the free eye exercise at the ministry was to prevent the staff from avoidable blindness in order to enhance their productivity in work place, home and other day to day activities.
“The basic healthcare provision or services offered to the staff is part of Manage Healthcare core value in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to give value added service to all its clients.
“We do not just see them and discuss NHIS modalities with them, we express value added services such as free eye check, BMI, random blood sugar check as well as blood pressure,” Ukeje said.
He further said that the visit was also aimed at discussing NHIS modalities with the staff and to address some of the challenges they face in accessing healthcare in hospitals as well as intimate them on their right to health.
Ukeje, however, advised the staff as well as the general public to desist from paying fees outside the 10 per cent cost of medication received at various hospitals as enshrined in NHIS.
“NHIS thrust is easy access to healthcare at an affordable cost.
“It is totally committed to securing universal coverage and access to adequate and affordable healthcare in order to improve the health status of Nigerians, especially for those participating in the various programmes/products of the Scheme,” Ukeje added.