NHIS needs N3 Trillion to provide health insurance for all Nigerians says Sambo
About N3 trillion is required to ensure that 200 million Nigerians have access to health insurance.
Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Mohammed Sambo, who disclosed this during a courtesy call on the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that with sufficient funds in the health insurance pool, the Scheme will expand its benefit package to include medical conditions such as cancer currently excluded, adding that the establishment of a Catastrophic Fund was being planned to specifically address terminal ailments.
Sambo explained that arrangements have been finalized to enroll members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) into the scheme adding that coverage will commence as soon as the government releases funds for that purpose.
A statement released by the organization’s Head, Media and Public Relations, Emmanuel Ononokpono revealed that plans to extend health insurance cover to the elderly and retirees have reached advanced stage.
While acknowledging the challenges of drug dispensing within the health insurance system, Sambo expressed the optimism that NHIS’ collaboration with drug manufacturers, in a plan that will effect direct supplies to hospitals, will ensure affordability and availability.
The NHIS boss underscored the importance of an efficient system where stakeholders observed laid down rules, the healthcare financing expert disclosed that the debt reconciliation exercise directed by the Scheme between HMOs and HCPs yielded the paying back of N26billion to hospitals, adding that complaints from facilities about payments have dropped significantly.
Sambo stated that the reforms initiated under his watch had brought stability to the Scheme and was rapidly steering it towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
On his part, the Managing Director of NAN, Mr. Buki Ponle stated that the agency practices development journalism, adding that NAN had changed the narrative in reporting Africa through development issues.
According to him, “we try as much as possible to report adequately and proffer solutions to issues… we identify and emphasize with humanity.”
He commended the NHIS boss for the ongoing reforms towards addressing the challenges of the Scheme, promising that the agency was ready to partner with the Scheme in making progress towards achieving its objectives.
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