The vast majority of us still pay for health out of pocket. This is the most catastrophic mode of paying for health anywhere in the world. One sickness in a family member and that family can be plunged into a financial disaster that will ruin that family forever: properties will be sold, other factors of production such as land will be sold, children may have to withdraw from school… in short, an inter-generational cycle of poverty that will ruin one’s children and grandchildren may just get initiated…

 

Let this sink in, and let it sink in well:
Most Nigerians, including many of us who think we earn good salaries, are just one major illness away from becoming Facebook beggars for money to pay medical bills!

 

In progressive societies, health insurance is the way to pay for health with zero or no disruption in one’s previous status in life.

 

This is how health insurance works: risk pooling. If I contribute 10,000 every year for emergency health needs, and I suddenly fall ill and treatment requires 3 million naira, I would simply have to become a Facebook beggar. However, if 3000 of my friends also contribute 10,000 for health, we can use that money for this ill chap, and still have leftovers for a few malaria cases. It is very unlikely that all of us would fall ill at the same time or need 3 million naira for treatment. We have shared our risks.

 

How many Nigerians have health insurance? Less than 10% of us. See how many of us are at risk of losing our dignity to become Facebook beggars when a major expensive illness hit us?

 

Let us assume government will not ensure that we all get health insurance, because government is bad and people in government are bad people. Let us assume your pastor is a good man who loves all the members of his church. Let us also assume that you all pay tithe to his church. We all know that God doesn’t operate a bank account. So it is safe to assume that your pastor owes you a certain obligation.

 

Let us assume your church is rich enough to buy one private jet. A gulfstream jet goes for 65 million dollars. Let’s not talk about the recurrent costs of the hanger, crew and maintenance. A decent health insurance costs about 20.000. That private jet will cover 1.2 million worshipers for one year. Or 120,000 people for 10 years.

 

That is 120,000 people will be able to access health without hassles or the need to sell property or withdraw children from school.

 

If your church can afford a private jet, tell your pastor not to buy it. He doesn’t need one. People who own companies that manufacture jets don’t own private jets. My boss travels more in a year than many pastors I know in 10 years. All he requires is a driver and a car to take him to the airport and another car to pick him up at the other end. The office books his flights. Anybody can do that.

 

The best thing your church can do for you is not a private jet. It is a health insurance. Tell your friends. Tell your pastor.