FG, state govts, stakeholders validate policy documents on Health Insurance Under One Roof
In a concerted effort towards achieving the Universal Health Coverage, the Federal and state governments, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and other stakeholders in the health sector, on Tuesday, meet to validate a policy document on Health Insurance Under One Roof (HIUOR).
The policy document, with clear monitoring and evaluation framework, is developed and produced with technical assistance from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Speaking at the validation meeting held in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof Mohammed Nasir Sambo, described the document validation as yet another milestone in the on-going reforms in the NHIS and the health insurance ecosystem in Nigeria “to fast track our collective quest to attain Universal Health Coverage.”
He told the Forum of Chief Executive Officers of State Health Insurance Agencies (SSHIAS), development partners, contributory agencies and other stakeholders that the WHO had provided valuable technical support through consultants to design the policy document.
Prof Sambo said: “I must appreciate the World Health Organisation who provided valuable technical support to the Committee through a consultant and are also supporting this event. After a series of meeting and deliberations, we now have a draft policy document for Health Insurance Under One Roof (HIUOR).
“You and I now have the all-important task of validating this document before it is finalized, printed and distributed.”
He added: “I, therefore, encourage you to treat this task with all seriousness as I believe that working together through Health Insurance Under One Roof will fast track our progress towards ensuring quality and affordable healthcare for all Nigerians.”
The NHIS Executive Secretary said the attainment of UHC in Nigeria which is in alignment with President Muhammadu Buhari Health Sector Next Level Agenda requires an effective framework for coordination, integration and harmonization of efforts of all stakeholders in the health insurance space in Nigeria.
This, according to him, is the basis of the concept of Health Insurance Under One Roof (HIUOR), adding that after the crisis that affected the former leadership of the scheme, “we have a new result-oriented NHIS, ready to reposition the health insurance ecosystem to focus on the collective drive towards the attainment of UHC.”
However, in his speech, the Chairman, Forum of Chief Executive Officers of State Health Insurance Agencies (SSHIAS), Dr Adeniyi Oginni, drew attention to some grey areas in the draft policy, which he said the Forum demanded should be attended to before the validation.
“I have the mandate of members of the Forum of CEOs of SSHIAs to draw our attention to some grey areas in the draft policy which were raised at the level of the TWG and by individual states at different fora but which are yet to be attended to.
“Consequently, these grey areas will be presented in this meeting with a view to resolving them before the policy document is validated. It is our hope that the issues raised will be objectively deliberated on by all stakeholders present and the suggested amendments adopted in order to ensure smooth operationalisation of the policy.” He said.
He congratulated the ES, management and staff of the NHIS for what he described as a step in the right direction in regulating and coordinating health insurance activities in Nigeria.
Dr Oginni, therefore, reiterated the commitment of the states to the successful implementation of the HIUOR policy and stressed their desire to leave no stone unturned in accelerating the march towards the attainment of UHC for the great country.