THE Director-General of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Professor Mohammed Sambo, has disclosed that 83 million vulnerable Nigerians will be covered under the Compulsory Social Health Insurance (CSHI)
Sambo also said that the NHIA Act will completely abolish out-of-pocket expenditure for Nigerians when fully implemented.
Sambo revealed this at a one-day workshop and news conference on the NHIA Act in Abuja.
Sambo said the journey of achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is on course, as the Authority is ready to implement the Act and get Nigerians internalised.
He said: “With the NHIA, efforts to tackle high incidence of poverty caused by out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare, through health insurance for all categories of Nigerians by 2030 is now more realisable than ever before.
“The moment President Muhammadu Buhari signed the NHIA Act, it empowers the Authority to know that all Nigerians and legal residents have health insurance. This is a complete departure from the previous law that made health insurance optional.
“The NHIA Act brings renewed prospects for the delivery of effective health insurance in Nigeria, fundamentally resets the ecosystem.
“The Act establishes and empowers the NHIA to ensure provision of health insurance for all Nigerians through a mandatory mechanism, in collaboration with state health insurance agencies.
“Specifically, Sections 25 and 26 of the Act established the Vulnerable Group Fund (VGF), indicating the various sources from which funding would be drawn.
“Furthermore, the legislation strengthens the NHIA to discharge a wide range of regulatory and promotion functions to ultimately ensure that every Nigerian have access to quality and affordable healthcare.”
On the inclusion of cancer treatment in NHIA programme, Sambo said the agency is in partnership with Roche Products Nigeria Limited on Cancer Care Reimbursement initiative.
“Roche will pay 50 per cent of the amount, NHIA will pay 30 per cent of the money and the patient pay 20 per cemt of the amount.
On integration of informal sectors into the NHIA programme, Sambo said health is compulsory for people in the informal sectors, stressing that the new law has made health compulsory for everyone.
“The public sector is already in organised private sectors would be compelled and persuaded to join. There are numerous benefits in health insurance which is to protect them.
“Government will also come up with policies that if you have to enroll your children in schools, you have to present an evidence of health insurance.
“Even when you do not go to school, you will go to the hospital, you must produce your health insurance evidence. We want to ensure that out-of-pocket expenditure is reduced to below 50 per cent.
“Significantly, the law provides for the establishment of the VGF and outlines sources of funding for it.
“For the records, nowhere does the law impose a telecoms tax as a source of funding,” Sambo said.
ALSO READ FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
- ASUU Extends Strike By 4 Weeks
- Forex Crisis: Fresh Facts Reveal NNPC’s $2.7bn Remittance To Its CBN Accounts In 6 Months