COVID-19: FG fails to make claims on dead medical pensonnel

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Chuks Udo Okonta

Nine months after the Insurance industry granted N11 billion life insurance cover to frontline health workers employed to combat COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government is yet to report any claim amid acclaimed deaths by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

Investigation by Inspenonline revealed that Life insurance firms selected to provide the cover for health workers accredited by the Government in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, are yet to receive any claims report.

It was also learnt that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) had approached government’s representatives to furnished the insurance sector with details of affected health workers, but request has not been met.

The insurance sector collectively and individually, amongst other numerous palliatives supported the Federal Government by providing N11 billion life insurance cover to the frontline health workers employed in the fight against COVID-19

The cover was to enable families or named beneficiary of any medical doctor that dies in the line of duty to claim N3 million; Pharmacists/Nurses N2 million and others N1 million.

The premium which is in the sum of N112,500,000 for the cover was fully paid by the Nigerian Insurance Industry in line with the principle of No Premium No Cover, the Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, said, stressing that a total of 19 Life Insurance companies were accredited to provide the Cover.

According to him the cover was for a period of 12 months effective April 14, 2020 and in event of any fatality, the relevant agencies of government will immediately advise the lead Underwriter – FBNInsurance Limited who will make request for relevant documents needed for payment of the claim.

The Managing Director, FBNInsurance Limited, Val Ojumah, told Inspenonline that as a lead underwriter in the business, he is still awaiting claims report from NAICOM, which is expected to transmit reports from government to operators.

He assured that operators will settle any claim immediately it is officially reported.

According to the Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, FCT, Cheers, Enema Amodu, at least 20 Nigerian doctors have died from complications arising from coronavirus recently.

Amodu said the deceased health workers include consultants, professors and some resident doctors.

He noted that the figures keep increasing daily.
”For those of us in the health sector, we have lost quite a number of colleagues. Across the country, we have lost not less than 20 doctors in the last one week,” he said.

Healthcare workers are often at risk of exposure to infections, including COVID-19 as they are the first responders to patients.

Although health workers have been advised to use full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
before attending to patients, many do not have access to this equipment and as a result, over a 1000 health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Nigeria.

As of June 2, at least 812 health workers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Nigerian health minister, Osagie Ehanire.

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