Sometimes ago, I was hanging out with a friend who invited some National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) boys to join us. During our chats I enquired if the corps members (corpers) were benefiting from the NYSC Health Insurance Scheme, to my abject surprise their response was that there was no such thing as health Insurance for corpers.
As far as the two of them were concerned, it was a hoax, another one of government deceptive policies to siphon money into the pockets of their sycophant friends. My further enquiries confirmed that these corpers never even tried to access healthcare on the Health Insurance Scheme, they were totally sceptical of anything free from the government.
Although I tried to make them see that the health scheme was in place and functional and actually being enjoyed by those who believed in it and tried to access healthcare. It was not only sad but unfortunate that all my efforts at making these young men see that the scheme actually works was wasted. They left with the same prejudiced mind set they came with.
The following week I was in Edo state to register members of Nigerian Prisons Service on National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), I occasionally asked some of the newly recruited members what they think of the scheme although many of them praised government for the policy, I met a young lady who protested and castigated the scheme saying that all the hospitals do is rip the enrolees off by dispensing low quality medications and denying care. She was new, so I asked how come she knew so much about the health scheme, she told me she has been on the scheme as a dependant for as long as it started and she has always had to buy medication out of pocket, without ever making any effort to use the scheme as she believes that government would not just do anything good for the populace! She has forgotten that there is SERVICOM and several 24-hour call centres manned by Health Management Organizations (HMO’s) and dedicated to monitor accredited hospital(s) to ensure quality healthcare delivery.
Considering the foregoing and many similar experiences I surmised that many Nigerians are not trusting, they also are sceptical of insurances, and even those who have never had any practical unsatisfactory experience are biased with oblique impressions of what health insurance is about.
I carefully considered how and why we lost trust in our governments, especially the present one, and remembered that we have suffered a lot of heartbreaking failed promises and we have been fooled and led on by succeeding governments. Take power for example, Obasanjo promised to fix it, we all know what happened, Goodluck is currently struggling with the same power issue without any apparent success. May the almighty help us—may we help ourselves too.
The sad part is that this ugly distrust has cascaded into personal relationships; friendship, familial even love, (perhaps it grew from personal relationships) we can hardly trust our fellow humans with anything any longer. I remember joining a cooperative during my NYSC year where I contributed a total of thirty thousand Naira and lo and behold when I was about to complete the service year and it was time for me to withdraw my money I was regrettably fed with bags of stories instead of my money. Something irreparably snapped in me that made me vow never to engage in any form of cooperative or thrift again.
I am sure such is the quality stories that breed distrust are made of. And we have almost all had a taste of such rottenness, we have been made to distrust our friends, our neighbours, our lovers and government even the almighty corporate organizations are hardly trustworthy.
Fellow Nigerians, we can start today, we can cure this scrounge of distrust by being the agent of change, let each and all man vow to be a trustworthy person, let us strive to stay upright in all our actions and reactions and talk.
And every other thing shall be added unto us.
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