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How Wills, Trust and Health Insurance Can Save Lives

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Health Insurance

By Gbolahan Oluyemi

In the past years, there has been a sharp rise in diagnosis for major diseases. The development led to an increase in the need for organ transplants by patients suffering from these diseases.

The dwindling medical equipment in public health institutions, systematic migration of health professionals and incessant strike action by public health care workers also worsened the situation.

Other than the institutional problems, most patients usually experience three common challenges when diagnosed with major diseases.

First is the availability of funds to cover the cost of medical treatment. Second is the availability of organs in cases where an organ transplant is required, and the last is the availability of necessary equipment and health care professionals with the needed expertise.

Amid these challenges, subscribing to health insurance, the existence of a health Trust fund and a growing Will writing culture are three tools that can save lives.

One major benefit of health insurance is that it guarantees access to health care irrespective of the current financial status of the patient.

Asides from guaranteeing access to health care, health insurance can indirectly prevent the prevalence of major diseases. This is because most people ignore health symptoms and self-medicate.

This act is attributed to either failure to prioritize health indicators, the cost associated with healthcare or in some cases, the preference for herbs.

Cost-free healthcare under health insurance will encourage people to seek help regarding their symptoms and enhance the early detection of diseases.

Further, health insurance absorbs a substantial part of the treatment cost in cases of major disease and may also cover post-treatment health expenses.

Another salient benefit of health insurance is that it protects patients from medical inflation. The cost of medications is rising, especially when there is a pandemic or increase in the number of persons contracting such disease. Health insurance ensures that Patients do not have to bear the brunt of inflation.

Lastly, reputable Health Insurers/HMOs educate their enrollees.

I personally use Leadway Health and I have been periodically educated on topics such as mental health, COVID -19 Vaccines and Aerobics vis-à-vis my health. This is in addition to the access to qualitative healthcare I enjoy being an enrollee.

Some patients also encounter difficulty in raising funds for their treatment. Sometimes, critically ill persons are constrained to seek financial help on social media platforms. Some patients are unlucky and may be unable to raise the needed fund till their demise.

From experience, Nigerians like to donate to such a life-saving cause. However, the activities of fraudsters and gain seeking individuals discouraged potential helpers from donating.

From experience, these doubts are reoccurring in the minds of donors when invited to support an unknown critically ill person.

The donor’s confidence will be boosted by setting up Charitable Trust with a reputable Trust company regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Trust is funded by public donations and administered for the benefit of critically ill persons strictly on the recommendation of Medical Directors of designation public health institutions.

The residue of the fund can also be applied towards buying critical equipment for public health care institutions. Given the flexibility of Trust, the Corporate Trustee can on certain terms assist in seeking credit to fund pending treatments pending the receipt of donations.

If such an arrangement is in place, financially challenged ill persons will be referred to the Corporate Trustee for disbursement.

However, there is a need to have an organization saddled with the responsibility of publicizing the Trust and encouraging voluntary contributions to the Trust by the members of the public.

Will writing can also be used to save lives, especially regarding the donation of body organs and tissues for transplant. Before now, Nigerians were only accustomed to donating their chattels, shares, money and landed property in their Wills.

However, section 55 of the National Health Act expanded this by allowing persons to donate their body organs and tissues through a Will or document executed in a similar manner.

Every person who is competent to write a Will, may in the Will or a document signed in the presence of at least two (2) competent witnesses donate body organ or any specified tissue to be used after his/her death for training, health research and advancement and most importantly for therapy, including the use of tissue in any living person or production of a therapeutic, diagnostic or prophylactic substance.

This simple act of writing a Will and donating body organs can save lives and make organs available to many for transplant. However, this process should be with the guide of a Medical Practitioner.

This is to ensure the donated organ is timely removed and preserved for use. A Will takes effect from the death of the testator (i.e. the person writing the Will). At death, these organs are no longer useful to the deceased, but they could save a life, can keep a breadwinner alive, keep the candles of hope burning.

Putting good use to health insurance, Trust and Will writing can save numerous patients deprived of treatment due to lack of funds or unavailability of funds. These days, the people are losing confidence in the ability of the government and its institutions to guarantee affordable and qualitative health care.  Hence, people must be creative and explore other alternatives to staying alive.

I am available for a discussion on how health insurance, Trust and Wills via omogbolahanoluyemi@gmail.com.

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Economy

Market Gains 0.12% on Interests in Guinness, FBNH, Cadbury Nigeria

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guinness nigeria

By Dipo Olowookere

Interests in the shares of Guinness Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria, FBN Holdings and others lifted the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 0.12 per cent on Friday.

From analysis of the trading data, the consumer goods, banking and energy sectors saw significant bargain hunting activities during the session, leaving their respective index closing higher by 0.57 per cent, 0.41 per cent, and 0.03 per cent.

However, the insurance counter witnessed a pocket of profit-taking as its index went down by 0.09 per cent, while the industrial goods sector closed the way it opened for the session.

When the bourse finish for the day, the All-Share Index (ASI) was up by 59.33 points to settle at 49,024.16 points compared with the previous day’s 48,964.83 points as the market capitalisation finished N32 billion higher to N26.452 trillion from N26.420 trillion.

The market breadth was positive yesterday, with 17 price gainers and 10 price losers, indicating a strong investor sentiment.

RT Briscoe appreciated by 9.68 per cent to trade at 34 Kobo, May and Baker rose by 9.63 per cent to N4.10, Guinness Nigeria improved by 9.29 per cent to N82.90, Jaiz Bank climbed higher by 8.43 per cent to 90 Kobo, and UPDC expanded by 8.42 per cent to N1.03.

At the other side of the table, Ikeja Hotel was on top after its value crashed by 9.68 per cent to N1.12, Sovereign Trust Insurance fell by 6.90 per cent to 27 Kobo, NAHCO dropped 3.51 per cent to sell for N5.50, UPDC REIT went down by 3.13 per cent to N3.10, and Neimeth depreciated by 2.10 per cent to N1.40.

Business Post reports that the level of activity improved on the last trading session of the week as the trading volume, value and number of deals increased by 61.58 per cent, 65.96 per cent and 3.67 per cent, respectively.

This was because investors transacted 356.7 million shares worth N3.7 billion in 3,219 deals as against the 220.8 million shares worth N2.3 billion transacted on Thursday in 3,105 deals.

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Economy

Nigeria at 62: Buhari Says Borrowing Necessary for Growth

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Buhari stimulating economic growth

By Adedapo Adesanya

In what would be his last Independence Day address, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, defended his government’s borrowing policy, describing it as a necessary step to provide the infrastructure that would expand opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Mr Buhari stated in the address to the country on October 1, 2022, that, “The federal government is already expanding port operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

“To further open up our communities to economic activities, we have continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical railways and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.”

The President also noted that no village in the country was left behind in the regime’s Social Investment Programmes such as N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, etc.

“I am pleased to inform my fellow citizens that besides our emphasis on infrastructural development with its attendant opportunities for job creation, employment generation and subsequent poverty reduction, our focused intervention directly to Nigerians through the National Social Investment Programme is also yielding benefits.

“There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers.

“All the programmes mentioned above along with various interventions by the National Social Investment Programme, direct support to victims of flooding and other forms of disasters have provided succour to the affected Nigerians,” Mr Buhari said.

He also promised Nigerians that he would ensure free and fair elections come 2023 and called for more youth and women participation in the electoral cycle.

He said, “Having witnessed at close quarters the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee the election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration.

“You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states, notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun and a few federal constituencies, have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting. This I promise would be improved upon as we move towards the 2023 general elections,” he said.

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Economy

CSCS, NASD Lifts Unlisted Stock Market by 0.61%

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Unlisted Stock Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The final trading session on the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange in September 2022 ended on a positive note on Friday, with the bourse closing 0.61 per cent lower.

Business Post reports that the bullish performance was buoyed by the rise in the share prices of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc and NASD Plc.

Consequently, the market capitalisation of the unlisted stock market increased by N5.83 billion to close at N968.60 billion versus Thursday’s N962.77 billion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) expanded by 4.44 basis points to end the day at 735.79 points as against the 731.35 points it recorded in the previous session.

Yesterday, CSCS Plc improved by N1.07 to sell at N14.17 per share compared to the N13.10 per share of the preceding session, while NASD Plc gained N1 to close at N13.00 per unit in contrast to the preceding day’s N14.00 per unit.

But the bullish trend did not extend to the activity chart as the volume of securities traded by investors decreased by 55.1 per cent to 105,440 units from the 725,984 units transacted a day earlier.

In the same pattern, the value of transactions went down by 96.1 per cent to N1.6 million from N41.5 million, while the number of deals increased by 50 per cent to six deals from the four deals recorded on Thursday.

At the end of the session, AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, CSCS Plc stood in second place with 687.6 million units valued at N14.3 billion as Mixta Real Estate Plc was in third place with 178.1 million units valued at N313.4 million.

CSCS Plc was also the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) with 687.6 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 27.7 million units valued at N7.4 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in third place with 14.3 million units worth N1.7 billion.

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