The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) on Tuesday launched a health insurance scheme for its members. The guild broke the news on Tuesday in a statement on its official Instagram page.
The AGN also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Medicard Health Management, a health services provider, to address the practice of soliciting funds for medical emergencies among its members.
It said that Medicard will from August 17 be the guild’s approved official Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) and Health Management Services Provider.
Additionally, they noted that it has also developed a group life insurance cover, an automatic car insurance renewal at zero cost, among other packages for its members.
The guild said the move had come as part of efforts to prioritise the welfare of its members.
It also charged actors to reach out to the AGN secretariat of their states to pick any hospital of their choice.
“With your support and the support of AGN excos, we signed an MOU with Medicard Health Management as the official HMO and Health Management Services Provider of the AGN,” it wrote.
“Our members will no longer resort to public begging for their health or medical needs. Each and every actor or actress in Nigeria henceforth will enjoy a comprehensive HMO cover.
“With the partnership we created, members and independent actors in Nigeria will have access to over 600 hospitals nationwide for their health and medical needs, drugs, and treatment Inclusive.
“In addition to this, we now have a group life insurance cover for all our members.
“With the partnership, we have established with Medicard Nigeria, our members can now access medical tourism overseas for kidney transplants and surgery.
“Our members can also use their cards to enjoy discount purchases on meat and chicken stores nationwide, automatic car insurance renewal at zero cost and so much more.
“We are able to achieve this today because we believe that members of the AGN deserve the best. Actors and actresses deserve the best and we will leave no stone unturned to make this a reality.”
Over time, some Nigerian actors have had to resort to soliciting for financial assistance online, in order to get medical treatment locally and internationally.
In a recent interview with , veteran Nollywood actress, Ngozi Nwosu, lamented the situation of Nigerian actors who have worked for years but cannot afford their medical bills when they fall ill.
The actress also battled a kidney-related illness in 2012 and had to crowdfund before she could get treatment in the UK.
She said, “I would say the guild has failed us and the government has failed too. Because truth be told, we have gotten to a stage whereby, if you are an actor from a particular year, you are entitled to what is called “royalties” from the production that has been done.
“But as the case may be, it’s not like that. They just want to use you and dump you. The government cannot tell us they are not making money from us. What are the things they have laid down that this actor, from this age to this age, this is what you are entitled to?”
Another popular actor that got sick and had to crowdfund is Babatunde Omidina popularly known as ‘Baba Suwe’. He was diagnosed with chronic diabetes in 2018, he had to cry out with the help of actor and producer Yomi Fabiyi.
Most recently, another actress, Ifey Onwuemene, cried out for financial help to treat endometrial cancer that she is currently down with.